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Carmen Richardson                               download event poster
Friday & Saturday
May 26-27, 2023

Life Sciences Innovation Hub rooms 210 & 216        
3655  36 St   NW        

Heart-Centered Practices with Children & Adolescents: Blending Internal Family Systems with Expressive Arts Therapy
Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a highly compassionate, non-pathologizing treatment modality that when blended with the embodiment practices of expressive arts therapy (EXAT) becomes an effective and empowering way of working with children and adolescents.  This blended therapeutic approach provides clinicians with a truly heart-centered way of being with children and families who have experienced a range of life stresses and traumas.  IFS & EXAT together create opportunities for meaningful repair of attachment injuries within the internal worlds of the child and caregiver and within the external family system.

In this two day workshop we will explore key IFS concepts and processes, providing an introduction to the theoretical foundation of this modality.  Participants will also have the opportunity to practice therapeutic interventions such as unblending, witnessing, and identifying and mapping parts through the use of dramatic enactment, visual art, and creative writing.  Creatively exploring our own parts that naturally show up in the play therapy space is an effective way to develop therapeutic skills that can be integrated into your play therapy practice immediately.

We will further consider the experience of Self Energy, which, in IFS language, is our inherent healing resource that brings creativity, courage, compassion, calm and curiosity to ourselves and others.  We will learn what Self Energy means within the therapy process, but also how we invite children to experience and bring this healing energy to their most banished parts, truly creating an environment that is experienced as safe and welcoming to all parts of themselves.

Learning Goals:

1. Participants will be introduced to both theoretical and clinical applications of Internal Family Systems (IFS) as facilitated through the experiential expressive arts process. Theory will be shared via power point discussions/lecture and clinical application taught through Case Study and experiential invitations.

2. Participants will articulate how IFS brings a non-pathologizing perspective to children’s internal struggles.

3. Participants will learn how to introduce IFS to child clients, and experience 3 - 5 IFS expressive arts interventions for clinical work with children & adolescents.

4. Participants will have the opportunity to explore and embody their own parts that show up in the play therapy room.

Carmen Richardson MSW, RSW, RCAT, REAT.
Carmen is founder and director of Prairie Institute
of Expressive Arts Therapy in Calgary, Alberta and offers training, consultation and supervision to professionals and community agencies.  Carmen has trained play therapists, arts/expressive arts therapists, social workers, psychologists, and other helpers at various venues across Canada and the US.  She brings over 35 years experience to her full time private practice and is a registered clinical social worker, registered art therapist and registered expressive arts therapist.  She is trained in E.M.D.R. and A.R.T. and has completed many trainings in body-oriented therapies, including Integrative Body Psychotherapy (IBP), Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for the Treatment of Trauma, and Inner Relationship Focusing.  Carmen is Level 2 trained in Internal Family Systems.

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APTA is so happy to have wrapped up the last season with Lisa Dion. We want to thank all of the workshop participants and new memberships through the APTA online period--during COVID-19 and its challenges as well as learning new ways for helping children and families.

Thanks to Lisa Dion, Greg Lubimiv, Rachela Buonincontri, Jenne Newman, Liana Lowenstein, and Theresa Fraser for their inspired training and helping APTA with the online format.

Register for APTA Events and Membership Here:

Please note: APTA's online registration system is getting a bit old, but it works....like the millenium falcon...But if you have difficulties with registration please contact: admin@albertaplaytherapy.ca    If you are unable to access the correct rate through paypal (i.e. the member / student rate; early bird prices), don't worry...you can proceed with registration and the payment, and APTA will adjust the rate and issue a refund at practically lightspeed.

your PAYPAL confirmation email is also your initial event registration confirmation.

APTA's new website will be coming soon. Please note Member Login function isn't working. If you are a Member please pay regular payment and your member discount will be refunded. Thank you for you support; it allows APTA to continue providing cost-effective high level training events.

Past Events

APTA Membership 2023
annual membership
member price: $40
non-member price: $40
student price: $30

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