PESI live seminar update: Due to concerns with coronavirus (COVID-19) all live, in-person seminars through June 30th are being changed to digital format. Click here for more information about the status of live in-person seminars.  Click here for Online Learning Options.

Seminar Detail

5-Day Retreat: Attachment-Centered Play Therapy in a Retreat Setting
Monday, September 21, 2020 - Friday, September 25, 2020

This event is no longer available for purchase.

For more information: Call (800) 844-8260
Course Description:

Come join me in this 5-day intensive retreat, to explore our clients through the lens of attachment theory, gaining a new understanding of how children and families interact and bond to one another in healthy vs maladaptive ways. We will explore how trauma, abuse, and neglect impact the bonds of attachment within the family system and how the power of Attachment Centered Play Therapy can help to heal these wounds.

Throughout this intensive retreat, we will implement an integrative therapeutic approach to include the parents into the therapy process when addressing attachment wounds, trauma, grief and loss.

There will be plenty of time to explore difficult cases you are working with, ask questions, develop new assessment skills and explore styles of attachment and how this plays out in therapeutic relationships with our clients.

You will spend five days learning new and innovative play therapy techniques including hands on experiential activities, guided imagery, sand tray interventions, and expressive arts in a gorgeous setting with plenty of time for rest and rejuvenation built into the program outside of training hours. Did I mention that we will be spending ONE FULL DAY on the BEACH utilizing the world’s largest sand tray practicing sand tray therapy techniques assessing family relationships, bonds of attachment, and family dynamics? We will provide the basics but would love to extend an invitation for you to bring few of your favorite miniatures for use throughout the week.

Leave this integrative retreat experience with a creative toolbox of attachment centered play therapy tips, techniques, and a clear knowledge of how attachment styles impact relationships.

In September, the sun will be shining, the beaches sparkling, and the water is inviting. I am looking forward to seeing all of you in California. Remember your flipflops!

RETREAT SCHEDULE –September 21-25, 2020

Monday, September 21, 2020
4:00 pm – Check-in to Retreat Center
5:00 – 6:00 – Educational Program Introduction*
6:00 – 7:00 pm - Dinner 7:45 – 8:45 pm– Educational Program/Experiential Activity*

Tuesday & Wednesday, September 22-23, 2020
7:30 – 9:00 am - Breakfast
9:30 am – 12:00 pm – Educational Program*
12:00 – 1:00 pm – Lunch & Individual Activity
2:00 – 5:00 pm – Educational Program*
5:00 – 6:00 pm – Individual Activity/Leisure Time
6:00 – 7:00 pm - Dinner
7:45 – 8:45 pm – Educational Program/Experiential Activity*

Thursday, September 24, 2020
7:30 – 9:00 am - Breakfast
9:30 am – 12:30 pm – Experiential learning on the Beach*
12:00 – 1:00 pm – Lunch & Individual Activity
2:00 - 5:00 pm – Educational Program & Experiential Learning on the Beach*
5:00 – 6:00 pm – Individual Activity/Leisure Time
6:00 – 7:00 pm - Dinner
7:45 – 8:45 pm – Educational Program*

Friday, September 25, 2020
7:30 – 9:00 am - Breakfast
9:30 -11:00 am – Educational Program*
12:00 pm – Closing Lunch
1:00 pm – Departure

*CE is awarded during these specified times
Sleeping Room Reservations:

Room rates are per person, per night & includes meals.
$300.15 Single Room
$202.94 Double Room (per person)

For the discounted room rate, reservations MUST be made directly through Asilomar’s registration link below. Phone reservations will not have access to these reduced rates. 4 nights required.
Retreat Location:

A refuge by the sea. Take a deep breath and settle in for a time of serene relaxation, reflection and rejuvenation. Celebrated as Monterey Peninsula’s “Refuge by the Sea” – Asilomar Retreat & Conference Grounds is breathtakingly gorgeous.

Situated within the quaint and scenic town of Pacific Grove, Asilomar offers guests the simple comforts of cozy cottages and historic lodges – and an unforgettable escape from the demands of everyday life.

Retreat Highlights
  • Secluded retreat, offering 107 acres of ecologically diverse beachfront land
  • All guest rooms have private baths & complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Daily food menu highlights fresh, seasonal, local produce procured directly from their network of regional, organic farmers
  • A precious mile of sandy beach to soak up the sun and rocky coves along the Pacific coast
  • Glistening outdoor heated pool
  • Peaceful park trails to offer hiking and walking enthusiasts
  • Bike a trail or beach – why not do both?
  • Airport shuttle service to and from San Jose and San Francisco airports can be arranged in advance through Monterey Airbus (additional fees) Sky Harbor (additional fees)
Please note: mobility is needed from sleeping room, training room and dining hall.
Cancellation Policy: Prior to 45 days before the event start date, you will be charged a $100 cancel fee. For cancellations received after that, you will receive a gift certificate for your purchase amount to attend any future live PESI sponsored seminar.

Please contact PESI customer service for information on non-CE seeking to register as a guest for pricing and other details.
Learning Objectives:
  1. Analyze attachment theory as it applies to play therapy to provide integrated therapeutic treatment.
  2. Evaluate the four key concepts of attachment theory and how these concepts apply to attachment centered play therapy.
  3. Analyze various family systems through the lens of attachment theory to strengthen clinical assessment skills.
  4. Conceptualize attachment patterns that impact parent-child relationships to further advance your clinical practice.
  5. Implement play therapy interventions to foster engagement with parents in family play therapy in order to repair, and enhance the parent-child relationship.
  6. Analyze the neuroscience of attachment and play therapy as it relates to treatment.
  7. Determine the developmental stages of attachment needs and behaviors to identify maladaptive responses in children and families.
  8. Compare various attachment play centered interventions for use with insecurely attached families.
  9. Analyze the neuroscience of the impact of trauma on brain development.
  10. Apply mindfulness skills and practice in play therapy treatment to promote self-soothing and affect regulation.
  11. Explore various components of self-compassion and discuss its clinical applications and importance in working traumatized clients.
  12. Ascertain the clinical implications in addressing shame and rejection in trauma treatment.
  13. Evaluate how shame impacts the ability to form a secure attachment.
  14. Articulate the psychological impact and long-term effects of emotional trauma on a client’s mental health.
  15. Implement two clinical techniques for grounding and centering traumatized clients.
  16. Evaluate the clinical presentation of the following attachment styles as it relates to your clinical assessment: secure vs insecure; insecure; organized vs insecure disorganized.
  17. Implement two different treatment strategies, once attachment style has been ascertained, based on your client’s attachment style.
  18. Utilize mindfulness practices to address negative self-talk and move clients towards a positive sense of self.
  19. Employ mindfulness practices to address self-regulation and co-regulation between parent and child to repair and build emotional safety.
  20. Create guided imagery exercises to foster self-esteem and self-worth for increased self and co-regulation.
  21. Ascertain the clinical implications of traumatic stress symptomology, including hyperarousal, affect dysregulation, dissociation, body memories, and flashbacks.
  22. Employ effective somatic techniques to reduce/eliminate client’s body memories, “flashbacks” and dissociation.
  23. Incorporate mindfulness and compassion techniques to help regulate stress.
  24. Practice Sandtray interventions to assess for attachment injuries.
  25. Differentiate between verbal and nonverbal processing in attachment and trauma-based play therapy.

Attachment Centered Play Therapy
  • Introduction to Attachment Theory
  • Introduction to Play Therapy
  • Inviting the parents into the play therapy process
  • Attachment across the lifespan
  • Identify various styles of attachment
  • Specific play therapy intervention to address each style of attachment
  • Play therapy for all ages and stages
  • Hands on, experiential activities to promote healthy relationships
  • Guided Imagery exercises
  • Attachment wounds and injuries
  • Sand tray interventions
  • Group play therapy interventions
  • Interpersonal processing
  • Case consultation and case studies
Trauma’s Impact on Brain Development, Behavior and Families
  • Trauma's impact on behaviors, concentration, and relationships
  • Identify parts of the brain affected by trauma
  • Create a safe place in the play therapy room
  • Maximize the role of the attachment figure to create safety
  • Rage and aggression
  • Guided imagery exercises
  • Full body relaxation techniques
  • Interventions for shame and sexual abuse
  • Developmentally appropriate trauma narratives
  • Recognize somatic and physiological responses in the body
  • Reclaim the body after trauma
  • Understand the post-traumatic self
The World’s Largest Sand Tray
  • Personal reflection
  • Group and individual sand trays
  • Case consultation and processing
  • Directive and non-directive sand tray interventions
  • Address transference and counter-transference in play therapy
  • Specific supervision questions and processing
Play Therapy Across Ages, Stages and Special Populations
  • Play Therapy for children, adolescents and adults
  • Adoption
  • Grief, loss and bereavement
  • Engaging teens and tweens in family play therapy
  • Parenting strategies to promote healthy attachment styles
  • Interpersonal processing
  • Play Therapy Toolbox with 30+ interventions to take home and put into practice!
Limitations of the Approach and Potential Risks
  • No controlled studies have been conducted using these interventions
  • Play Therapy is an evidenced-based treatment
  • Attachment-Centered Play Therapy has not been included in the list of approved play therapy interventions from APT
  • Without the necessary training, use these interventions with clients may pose a risk of potential harm
Target Audience:
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Play Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Speech & Language Professionals
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S, is a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor and is the past president of the Utah Association for Play Therapy. Throughout her career, she has focused on providing therapy to children, teens, and their families. Clair is the director of Child and Adolescent Services at Wasatch Family Therapy. She is a sought-after supervisor, training graduate students and interns in play therapy, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern California MSW program. Clair is the author of Play Therapy: Engaging & Powerful Techniques for the Treatment of Childhood Disorders (PESI, 2018) and My Many Colors of Me Workbook. (Self-Published, 2013). In addition to being an experienced play therapist and professor, she frequently presents professional play therapy and family therapy trainings and appears on local and national TV and radio as an expert on children and family issues.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Clair Mellenthin is the clinical director at Wasatch Family Therapy. She is the author of My Many Colors of Me Workbook; she maintains intellectual property rights and receives royalties. Ms. Mellenthin receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Nonfinancial: Clair Mellenthin is the president of the Utah Association for Play Therapy.
Credits listed below are for full attendance at the live event only. After attendance has been verified, pre-registered attendees will receive an email from PESI Customer Service with the subject line, “Evaluation and Certificate” within one week. This email will contain a link to complete the seminar evaluation and allow attendees to print, email or download a certificate of completion if in full attendance. For those in partial attendance (arrived late or left early), a letter of attendance is available through that link and an adjusted certificate of completion reflecting partial credit will be issued within 30 days (if your board allows). Please see “live seminar schedule” for full attendance start and end times. NOTE: Boards do not allow credit for breaks or lunch.

If your profession is not listed, please contact your licensing board to determine your continuing education requirements and check for reciprocal approval. For other credit inquiries not specified below, or questions on home study credit availability, please contact or 800-844-8260 before the event.

Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.

PESI, Inc. offers continuing education programs and products under the brand names PESI, PESI Healthcare, PESI Rehab and Psychotherapy Networker.

Addiction Counselors
This course has been approved by PESI, Inc., as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 23.0 CE in the Counseling Services skill group. NAADAC Provider #77553. PESI, Inc. is responsible for all aspects of their programming. Full attendance is required; no partial credit will be awarded for partial attendance.

Play Therapists
PESI, Inc. is an APT Approved Provider 05-165. Full attendance at this program will qualify for 23.0 contact hours. Play therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.

This intermediate activity consists of 23.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save the course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

Marriage & Family Therapists
This activity consists of 1380 minutes of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. You should save this course outline, the certificate of completion you receive from the activity and contact your state board or organization to determine specific filing requirements.

Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, and Clinical Nurse Specialists
American Nurses Credentialing Center Logo
PESI, Inc. is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Nurses in full attendance will earn 23.0 contact hours. Partial contact hours will be awarded for partial attendance.

Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants
PESI, Inc. is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education. Provider #: 3322. Full attendance at this course qualifies for 23.0 contact hours or 2.30 CEUs in the Category of Domain of OT and Occupational Therapy Process. Partial credit will be issued for partial attendance. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA. Course Level: Intermediate.

Psychologists & Psychiatrists

PESI, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. PESI, Inc. designates this live activity for a maximum of 23.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The following state psychologist boards recognize activities sponsored by PESI, Inc. as an approved ACCME provider: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Wisconsin. This activity consists of 23.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Certificates of attendance will be issued for you to submit to your state licensing board to recognize for continuing education credit.

This live activity consists of 23.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction. Credit requirements and approvals vary per state board regulations. Please save the course outline and the certificate of completion you receive from this live activity. Contact us for more information on your state board or organization specific filing requirements. American Psychological Association credits are not available.

Speech-Language Pathologists

This course is offered for 2.30 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).

Social Workers
PESI, Inc., #1062, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. PESI, Inc. maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: January 27, 2020 - January 27, 2023. Social Workers completing this course receive 23.0 Clinical Practice continuing education credits. Course Level: Intermediate. Full attendance is required; no partial credits will be offered for partial attendance. A certificate of attendance will be awarded at the end of the program to social workers who complete the program evaluation.

California Social Workers: The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE programs that are approved by other approval agencies, including several that approve PESI and its programs. A full list of approval agencies accepted by the BBS can be found at under “Where to find CE Courses.” This Intermediate level activity consists of 23.0 clock hours of continuing education instruction.

Other Professions
This activity qualifies for 1380 minutes of instructional content as required by many national, state and local licensing boards and professional organizations. Save your course outline and certificate of completion, and contact your own board or organization for specific requirements.

Credit Card Required for online registration | Contact us to redeem Gift Certificates