Play Therapy Retreat

Spark It Up!

 Play Therapy Experiential Retreat   

 May 24-26, 2019 in Danville, CA. 

Earn 21 CE’s By Attending This Retreat! 



Just imagine 3 days of  play therapy

focusing on growth, learning and play, just for you!

Course meets the qualifications for 21 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.


This exciting and interactive retreat is a three day play therapy experience for clinicians at every level.  Spark It Up! Play Therapy Retreat is about growing your understanding of play therapy through experiential application of play and specialized training to better understand yourself as a play therapist and as a provider of the art of play therapy.  

Day 1 is focused on understanding the “self” of the play therapist by exploring play and integrating play into your practice.  Day 1 will emphasize play based interventions focused on increasing positivity and greatness, and therapeutic touch and the brain which will include Nurtured Heart Approach® and Introduction to creative bibliotherapy.

Day 2 jumps on what we learned about ourselves and digs a little deeper, using Sandtray and Live Integrated Experiential Playtray – an innovative experiential modality to enhance self-discovery and create healing.  Day 2 will also include PluckyWize® CBT and Power of Stones in play.

Day 3 is called “Expressly Yours”.  This is the day we put it all together with experiential and expressive interventions. Discover your playful self, discover or rediscover your drive to work with families and children through play therapy. 

There will be opportunities to connect with others, spend time in reflection, go for a hike on one of the many hiking trails, walk the labyrinth, or look out over the vistas of nearby Mount Diablo. This course supports qualifications in becoming a Registered Play Therapist with the Association for Play Therapy.


Learning Objectives for SPARK IT UP!

  1. Complete the ProQol assessment tool for the assessment of psychotherapist burnout and compassion fatigue and assess clinician’s level of wellness.
  2. Learn about the Nurtured Heart Approach® and how it can be incorporated into your play therapy practice.
  3. Introduction to creative bibliotherapy and learn attachment-based storytelling to enhance relationships and teach parents how to incoporporate this method into their daily routine.
  4. Describe at least 3 techniques to use to enhance effective puppet play with youth.
  5. Explore and demonstrate one application of the Live Integrated Experiential Playtray
  6. Explore and utilize at least 3 of the PluckyWize® map locations as research-supported play therapy strategies to help direct case conceptualizations and treatment plans.
  7. Identify & apply at least 3 CBT-based interventions and mindfulness strategies using art projects, sand tray, nature-based activities, and other experiential modalities.
  8. Describe 3 or more ways that using stones as props in play therapy can strengthen relationships, build empathy, and enhance resiliency to aid in the healing process.
  9. Identify and apply at least 2 movement and embodiment techniques into art-based representation of Internal Family System model.
  10. Create 1 personal mask to enhance deeper connection and understanding of Internal Family Systems and its application to play therapy.
  11. And so many more…


Important Information

Only 15 Spots Available

Prices Increase April 30th, then its full price

Last day to register May 1, 2019


Registration Discount

Single Occupancy $ 1897 (Full registration Price $2059)

Single occupancy includes: Twin bed, private bath, individual A/C or heating with linens, all meals included

Installment option 

 Single Occupancy -Registration Discount can be made in 2 installment payments of $949


Double Occupancy  $1,697 (Full registration Price $1879)

Shared room with assigned roommate or your friend, private bath, individual A/C or heating with linens, all meals included 

Installment option

Double Occupancy- Registration Discount can be made in 2 installment payments of $849



Commuter $1397 (Full registration Price $1579)

Live in the Bay Area? Come spend the day with us, all meals included (Commuter has no overnight accommodations)


Installment option

Commuter -Registration Discount can be made in 2 installment payments of $699


San  Damiano Retreat Location 

San Damiano Retreat Center is tucked away in the beautiful hills of Northern California. This destination resort offers something for everyone. It offers an opportunity to get away from hectic daily life to seek peace and solitude for rest, renewal and play. It has a Franciscan influence and provides a peaceful environment of natural beauty where renewal may be sought thru the beautiful gardens, labyrinth and walking trails.


At this retreat you will personally discover how to…

  • Find your own inner “Play-er”
  • Dig deeper to understand yourself and others
  • Connect to a variety of play
  • Express yourself through play and expressive arts
  • Use play and expressive therapy interventions
  • All this plus so much more…

You will learn how to improve your energy for developing a playful counseling practice and utilize evidence based interventions that you can apply to your own practice. You will enhance your understanding of brain functions and play while you explore playful ways of connecting. You will gain feelings of thriving, support and connection. After the retreat you will leave feeling refreshed, renewed and re-energized, while gaining new friendships, connection and support with fellow play therapist.


Our Wonderful Presenters For The Retreat

Leslie Baker, MA, MFT, NCC, RPT-S

Leslie Baker is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with extensive training and experience in working with trauma and its effects on youth, couples and families. She is the CEO/Director of Therapy2Thrive® of the Ruby Hill Marriage & Family Counseling Center, Inc. in Pleasanton, CA working with her team of clinicians and associates to serve the community. Leslie is a co-owner of Academy for Play Therapy Training, Inc.™ with the goal of facilitating mental health clinicians toward certification as Play Therapists. Leslie is the Author of Healing Feelings: A healing story for children coping with a grownup’s mental illness. She is a local, national and international speaker on the topics of Play Therapy, Technology in Psychotherapy and Counselor Burnout & Compassion Fatigue.


Mary Ruth Cross, MS, MFT, NCC, RPT-S

Mary Ruth is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with extensive training and experience in working with traumatized children and their families. She is the CEO/Owner of Treehouse Family Counseling Services in San Ramon, CA a group therapy practice that specializes in the use of play therapy as the primary treatment modality. Mary Ruth is also a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor and helps mental health practitioners who are working towards certification in play therapy through her co-owned company Academy for Play Therapy Training, Inc.™.  She has provided workshops on play therapy throughout the United States and Canada.


Karen Pernet, LCSW, RPT-S, BCD

Karen Pernet is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner & Certified Gestalt Therapist with an office in Oakland, CA. She has been practicing for over 30 years and provides training, supervision and consultation in play and sand tray therapy in addition to psychotherapy to people of all ages. The founder of Growth through Play Therapy Trainers, Karen has presented nationally and in Ecuador. She is a certified trainer of Filial Family Therapy and developed the Filial Parenting Program geared to inner city families in Philadelphia and has published 3 articles on Filial Therapy, reunification and adoption.


Lyla Tyler, MFT, RPT-S

Lyla Tyler is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor and also an Advanced Trainer for the Nurtured Heart Approach®. Lyla is the owner of Kid Counseling Sacramento and specializes in treating children and families in Sacramento, California.  She was a Program Manager for two large Residential Treatment centers in Sacramento and also facilitated groups for Sutter Medical Foundation through the Children’s Bereavement Art Group.  She specializes in the treatment of children dealing with trauma, grief and loss, and critical illness in the family. Lyla has provided training throughout California, the United States and Internationally.  She can be reached at 916-448-1812 or 



Tammi Van Hollander, LCSW, RPT

Tammi Van Hollander is a licensed clinical social worker and registered play therapist. She is the owner of Main Line Play Therapy in Ardmore, PA where she works with children and families and also consults with local schools and community members. She is a certified Trainer for the Nurtured Heart Approach®, a certified FirstPlay® practitioner, trained in level one Theraplay® and EMDR. Tammi’s work and creative interventions in the field of play therapy have been published and internationally recognized. She is the author of an attachment-based multi-sensory story titled Casey’s Greatness Wings: Teaching Mindfulness, Connection and Courage to Children.Tammi has been involved in international service work in the migrant camps in India, teaching volunteers and children about play and attachment.  She specializes in attachment, sandtray play therapy & sensory integration working with infants, children, families, and adults of all ages. She is regular faculty member at The Expressive Therapies Summit in NYC and LA. She is a sought after expert for speaking engagements, podcasts and webinars. For more information on Tammi’s publications and work, visit her website at 


Dr. Robin O’Heeron 

Dr. Robin O’Heeron is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Marin County, California with over 30 years of experience. She is a founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Dr. O’Heeron works with clients with a variety of concerns including anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders in children, adolescents and adults. The PluckyWize® Program integrates her many years of training and experience, blending CBT, play therapy, and mindfulness-based stress reduction. 


Jessica Pinto, LMFT

Jessica Pinto is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the founder of Equinicity Marin™, a unique experiential program that incorporates nature, art, and animals to enhance growth and learning. Jessica combines extensive training in CBT, Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP), Sandplay Therapy and nature-based experiential learning for a unique approach to treating children and adolescents.  Equinicity frequently partners with PluckyWize to host experiential outdoor workshops in beautiful, natural settings. 


For further information please call or email:

General information (925) 626-0084

Leslie Baker (925) 998-3392

Mary Ruth Cross (925) 626-0084


Central Counseling Services is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs. Central Counseling Services maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content.

Cancellation Policy:  Participants can request a full refund minus $100.00 administration fee before April 26th, 2019, unless a replacement is found.  If you are requesting a replacement please contact Mary Ruth at No cancellations or refunds will be given after May 1, 2019, but your fee will be held for 2020 Spark It Up Retreat. 

Partial credit cannot be given.

Disclaimer: Recordings, both audio and video may be used to further benefit Academy for Play Therapy Training, Inc.™. All information presented is for educational purposes only.  Opinions expressed by the presenters do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Academy for Play Therapy Training, Inc.™ and Central Counseling Services.


Association for Play Therapy –APT approved provider 18-544 sponsored by Mary Ruth Cross, MFT CE’s for Marriage & Family Therapist, Licensed Social Workers, Professional Counselors.

Central Counseling Services provider number: #128357 in sponsorship with Academy for Play Therapy, Inc.™ will be conducting the workshop Spark It Up meets the qualifications for 21 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.  

**Participants may file a complaint/grievances and email it to Complaints or grievances will be reviewed within 5 days it is received.  A response or corrective action plan will be sent on the 6th day in a form or hardcopy and or email.  If 6th day falls on a weekend.  Response will be sent on the next business day. 

*** Participants may request for special accommodations to address their specific needs.  Academy for Play Therapy Training, Inc.™ will make all attempts to accommodate participants and their needs.  All participants may send a request for accommodation two weeks prior to the CE event in a form of an email or letter.  Participants will be sent a response within 48 hours for accommodation options.  Accommodations are as follows, but not limited to, wheelchair accessibility, sign-language interpreter, and or language interpreter.  The goal of Academy for Play Therapy Training, Inc.™ is to provide diverse participants complete access to all CE trainings. 

**** Participants will complete course evaluations and answer questions after the live workshops.  Each participant will receive their course completion certificate after submitting the course evaluations.  If participants take the course via on-line (distance learning), they will complete a course evaluation and answer questions pertaining to the course.  They will then receive their certificate of completion via email, or mail with address provided to CE provider.

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