“Imagine, Create, Belong”: a new intervention for adolescents with social difficulties (2 day online workshop) 21-22 JANUARY 2021

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“Imagine, Create, Belong”: a new intervention for adolescents with social difficulties (2 day online workshop) 21-22 JANUARY 2021

January 21, 2021 @ 9:00 am - January 22, 2021 @ 4:30 pm



This 2 day workshop is for those who work with older children and young adolescents. Research using Learn to Play Therapy has  been extended to work with adolescents who experience social difficulties. It has been assumed that abilities underpinning pretend play ability are no longer relevant to young adolescents. This is now disputed with evidence emerging that abilities underpinning pretend play are important for social competence and learning in adolescence.

This workshop introduces a play assessment for young people called the Animated Movie Test. This is an age appropriate play assessment and is suitable for young people aged 8 years to 15 years. Participants will be taken through the purpose, administration, scoring and interpretation of this new assessment, including reliability and validity evidence to date.

The new intervention called Imagine, Create, Belong has been published by Routledge. The theoretical underpinnings of this intervention will be explained. This new 8 week intervention for young people who are neurodiverse who attend mainstream high schools has been trialled in two research studies and found to increase young people’s self-insight into their social ability, maintain their flexible thinking and increase their narrative thinking. This results in more competence in their social ability. The same manual also includes 16 Sessions for adolescents who attend special school and have challenging developmental issues.

Participants will be taken through the sessions of Imagine, Create, Belong and small group work will include experiencing and practice of some of the activities. For those who wish to implement this approach in their work, the Animated Movie Test manual and scoring booklets are available at http://www.learntoplayevents.com/product/animated-movie-test-amt-manual/. The manual containing Imagine, Create, Belong, which is published by Routledge  is available from Amazon or Booktopia or any bookshop selling health related material. The book is called Storying beyond social difficulties with neuro-diverse adolescents. The “Imagine Create Belong” social development program. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9780429281235

This workshop would be valuable for those working with young adolescents who have social difficulties including social workers, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, specialist teachers of young adolescents, psychologists and play therapists.

As this course will be online in January 2021, due to the uncertainty of Covid 19, participants will be sent pre-reading and pre-watching before the workshop. Participants will also be sent a list of materials to collect in preparation for the live sessions.


DAY 1, Thursday 21st January

There will be some time in the morning for open discussion for those who have questions relating to the pre-reading and pre-watching. These times will be sent closer to the date.

LIVE session – 1 – 4pm AEDT*

Animated Movie Test – purpose, administration, scoring and interpretation with video analysis

Why play is still important in adolescence and Introduction of Imagine, Create, Belong for 11-15 year olds, with break out rooms to discuss characters and movie plot


DAY 2, Friday 22nd January

LIVE session – 1 – 4pm AEDT*

Imagine, Create, Belong – this live session will include working in groups, through zoom break out rooms. The session will cover running the sessions and how to engage neurodiverse adolescents (within mainstream and special school).



Associate Professor Sophie Goldingay is Associate Head of School, Teaching and Learning in the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University. Sophie’s expertise is in identity, well-being, and inclusion, especially for neurodiverse adolescents. She uses mixed methods and decolonising research approaches to work towards equity and access in both secondary school and higher education environments. She won the Vice Chancellor’s award for ‘Excellent Contributions to Equity and Access’, and is the recipient of three teaching awards. She is the lead author of Storying beyond social difficulties: The Imagine Create Belong social development Program (2020),  and regularly presents workshops for Learn to Play Events.



Karen Stagnitti is Emeritus Professor in the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University, Victoria, Australia. She is retired from full time teaching and research but continues to run workshops and write. She graduated with a Bachelor degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Queensland. For over 35 years she has mainly worked in early childhood intervention programs in community-based settings as part of a specialist paediatric multidisciplinary team. In 2003 she graduated from LaTrobe University with a Doctor of Philosophy. Her area of research is children’s play. Karen has written five books on play. She also has over 120 national and international publications, including 21 book chapters. She has developed the Animated Movie Test to be used with young people aged 8-15 years. From research on play assessment, the Learn to Play approach to building play ability in children has been developed through clinical work and research.

Throughout the year Karen is invited to present her work on the play ability of children nationally and internationally.



Donna Davidson is a Mental Health Occupational Therapist and Play Therapist. Donna has worked in both community and educational settings for the last 20 years. Donna completed her Masters in Play Therapy at Deakin University in 2018. Donna has a passion for working with children, young people and adults who are neurodiverse. She uses a systemic approach where families, carers and educators encompass the therapeutic approach to working with a client. Donna is one of the authors of Storying beyond social difficulties: The Imagine Create Belong social development program (2020). Donna is working with Karen Stagnitti towards publishing her thesis The process of Parent Learn to Play Therapy with parent-child dyads with children who have autism spectrum disorder.

*Start and end times are in Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Canberra, UTC+11:00

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January 21, 2021 @ 9:00 am
January 22, 2021 @ 4:30 pm


Learn to Play
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Online workshop run via Zoom


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15% Group Discount
Organisations sending 5 or more staff members to the same workshop are entitled to a 15% discount off the total price. To apply for the discount please email Jessica directly at learntoplayevents@gmail.com.

Cancellation and refund policy
Please notify Jessica of any cancellations by email: learntoplayevents@gmail.com.
To receive a full refund please advise your cancellation 8 or more days prior to the commencement of the workshop.
Cancellations made within 7 days prior to the commencement of the workshop will be refunded 50% of the original workshop fee paid.
No refunds will be issued for cancellations made within 48 hours before the commencement of the workshop.
Learn to Play reserves the right to cancel the workshop and issue a full refund of the workshop fee to registrant.