APT content area: Special Topics, Seminal Theories and Skills & Methods

Integrating Expressive Arts & Gestalt Play Therapy to Increase Emotional Regulation

Description: Awareness is a key component to gestalt play therapy as well as emotional regulation. Expressive arts can be used to invite feelings, thoughts, andsensations into our awareness. In this workshop, you will learn to integrate expressive arts in play therapy to help clients increase awareness and to enhance emotional regulation skills. 

The presenter will focus on a Gestalt play therapy approach to using expressive arts. She will guide participants through a variety of experiential exercises, inviting participants to become comfortable with the expressive arts techniques being discussed. 

This workshop was designed to help play therapists address the expressed and demonstrated needs for increased emotional regulation in children. Emotional literacy is a key component of emotional regulation, and incorporating expressive arts is helpful. 

The presenter will also discuss the power of expressive arts and Gestalt therapy to help bridge cultural differences. 

Learning Objectives

  1. Discuss the importance of awareness in gestalt play therapy
  2. Describe the role of the therapist in gestalt play therapy
  3. Define expressive arts as used in play therapy
  4. Describe three therapeutic benefits of using expressive arts in play therapy
  5. Discuss the role of expressive arts in developing a therapeutic relationship through a Gestalt play therapy lens
  6. Discuss the benefits of using expressive arts in play therapy with clients from different backgrounds and cultural experiences

Instructor Bio:

Dr. Emily Keller, LPCC, LCMHC-S, RPT-S integrates energy psychotherapy, redecision therapy, gestalt therapy, play therapy, and sand tray therapy to help clients grieve, heal, and grow through trauma. She works with individuals, couples, families, and children at her private practice in Livermore, CA. She also provides play therapy supervision and online training workshops. She is a previous vice president of Southeast Institute for Group and Family Therapy in Chapel Hill, NC, where she offered supervision and training in redecision therapy. Dr. Keller has extensive training and experience in redecision therapy. Redecision therapy was developed by Bob and Mary Goulding, who both trained with Fritz Perls. Redecision therapy combines the focus on experience in the here and now with elements of transactional analysis. Dr. Keller believes that when we are connected with our authentic, true selves, we see the beauty and wonder in ourselves and others. Then, we are willing to feel, think, and problem-solve cooperatively — despite our differences. Dr. Keller is a former volunteer for the Social Justice Theater of the Carolinas, for which she has led audiences through collaborative expressive arts programs and discussions on difficult social issues. Dr. Keller and her husband of 22 years enjoy hiking and exploring nature throughout California. Learn more about Dr. Keller’s work by reading these articles in Play Therapy Magazine: Wonder: The Key to Being in an Authentic Relationship with Children and Disentangling the Past: A Sand Tray Method to Integrate Child and Adult Parts.

Emily Keller, PhD, LPCC, LCMHC-S, RPT-S