8:30 to 9:10 Registration and Welcome

9:10- 10:30 Felicia Carroll, M.Ed., MA., LMFT, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor : “From Revision to Revival: Interpersonal Neurobiology Play Therapy ….or Take a Neuroscientist to Lunch (or coffee or whatever)”

If you haven’t noticed, the psychotherapy conferences, play therapy conferences, and professional literature are drawing in large groups of clinicians, trainees, and practitioners of all kinds (probably you as well). The speakers are convincing to an uninformed professional community that they are developing new therapeutic approaches with children and adults informed by neuroscience. As I listen to these speakers I am often stunned to see/hear these “innovative” approaches to be Gestalt Therapy without the “footnotes” of acknowledgment.

In this brief, sometimes humorous, sometimes serious talk, I will point out my findings by comparing and contrasting a few of what is being presented with what Gestalt Therapists have been doing for the last 75 years. The future of our work weighs in the balance of how we define our clinical and training models and how we engage with today’s neuroscientists. We must let them know that Gestalt Therapy has much to offer them even as we learn from them. We have a lot to learn in dialogue with each other.

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10:45- 12:15 Lynn Stadler, LMFT: “How Gestalt Therapy Can Motivate Children and Their Parents to Change”

In many therapeutic models it seems that "symptom reduction" is the therapist's only treatment goal and finding a way to avoid uncomfortable feelings is the main motivator for the client. Gestalt therapists working with young people and their parents address many things that are most likely more interesting, satisfying, and long-lasting than simply reducing clients' symptoms and/or bypassing difficult emotions.

During this session we'll explore how specific parts of the Oaklander Model and other favorite aspects of Gestalt theory motivate people to change. The I-Thou relationship is a powerful motivator, as is the simplicity and levity of the Oaklander Model's focus on strengthening sense of self and improving contact. Helping clients to understand the validity of all emotions is also an important contribution of the Oaklander Model. In addition to Violet's work, we'll consider how Arnold Beisser's Paradoxical Theory of Change can help with motivation as well.

Finally, an important part of this session will pertain to the crucial role parents play in allowing change to actually happen (or not). Although they say they want change, they often resist it much more than their young children and teenagers. Helping parents see themselves as part of the treatment team is essential, especially when they are being asked to change attitudes about emotional expression and their ways of interacting with their children

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1:15-2:45 Peter Mortola, Ph.D. Professor of Counseling and School psychology, Lewis & Clark Graduate School : “It became me! How play becomes real in the Oaklander approach to Gestalt Play Therapy”

We will learn about the value of play and a playful approach to therapy, based on the work of Dr. Violet Oaklander, and demonstrate through both theory and practice how a playful approach to therapy can help enliven, sharpen, and make more authentic the therapeutic encounter, both between the therapist and the client, as well as between the client and the sometimes surprising aspects of the self that are discovered through play: Paradoxically, play can make therapy more real. Based on my teaching at Lewis and Clark College where I am a Professor of Counseling and School Psychology, this workshop will integrate both conceptual and practical content in a way that is congruent with the rich Gestalt tradition of experiential learning.

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3- 4:30 Panel discussion with Violet Oaklander and conference presenters

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4:30-6 Wine & Cheese Party and Book signing