Learn to Play Therapy – Part 2: Refining Skills (2 Day Face to Face Workshop) Thur 28 – Fri 29 April 2022

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Learn to Play Therapy – Part 2: Refining Skills (2 Day Face to Face Workshop) Thur 28 – Fri 29 April 2022

April 28, 2022 @ 9:00 am - April 29, 2022 @ 4:30 pm


Learn to Play Therapy – Part 2 : Refining Skills (2 Day Face to Face Workshop)

Thur 28 – Fri 29 April 2022

9am – 4:30pm

Presented by Emeritus Professor Karen Stagnitti and Dr Siobhan Casey

Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne



This workshop is suitable for those who have completed Learn to Play Therapy – Part 1: Foundation. This 2 day workshop builds on Learn to Play Therapy – Part 1: Foundation training as it is assumed that participants understand and have knowledge of the development of pretend play and how to carry out play assessments with children who find it difficult to play.


Learn to Play Therapy is an evidence-based therapy that aims to build the ability of a child to self-initiate spontaneous pretend play. The therapeutic skills required to facilitate this ability in children, who find it difficult to play, are explored more deeply in this 2 day workshop. This workshop also includes working with older children aged 7 – 10 years.*


Participants are taken through the clinical framework and theoretical underpinnings of Learn to Play Therapy in more depth. This knowledge is linked to the importance of creating a feeling of safety for the child, through therapeutic presence. The playroom is discussed. Advanced processes are covered and are practiced, including further therapeutic skills to engage children in play such as tracking, empathic reflection, holding, challenging, and congruence. The three stages of changes in therapeutic skill of the therapist are presented. On the second day more information is covered on working with older children aged 7 to 10 years, including the Animated Movie Test. More in-depth information is covered for children with autism and working with the parent and child; and two in-depth case studies are given for children who had experienced trauma.


Over the 2 day workshop several case studies are worked through from assessment to planning therapy sessions. The workshop focusses on practical problem solving of difficult cases and how to facilitate play ability in children who find it difficult to play. Throughout the 2 day workshop discussion will also include brainstorming sessions, workshop small group activities, video analysis, play materials for therapy sessions, and emotional engagement of children in play. This workshop would be valuable to occupational therapists, speech pathologist, play therapists, social workers, psychologists and early interventional workers who work with families with children 10 years of age and under, who have a developmental delay.


Day 1

  • Theoretical underpinnings of Learn to Play Therapy
  • Clinical Framework of Learn to Play Therapy
  • Creating a feeling a safety for the child and parent through therapeutic presence
  • What activity do I use?
  • Three stages of therapeutic skill and engaging children
  • Advanced therapeutic skills


Day 2

  • Learn to Play Therapy when working with children with autism spectrum disorder and parents
  • Learn to Play Therapy for children aged 7 to 10 years
  • Learn to Play Therapy and children who have experienced trauma


*The new Learn to Play book: Learn to Play Therapy: Principles, Process and Practical Activities was published in 2021. This 314 page book explains the theoretical underpinnings, principles and process as well as includes an additional 114 pages of play activities by developmental level. It comes with a USB that includes the play activities, parent handouts, and Play Background Checklist. This book is an essential reference source for Learn to Play Therapy.

At this face-to-face workshop, play assessment manuals and score sheets and the new Learn to Play Therapy book will be available for purchase.



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 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 over 120 publications, including journal articles, book chapters, and books. She has developed several play assessments including: Child-Initiated Pretend Play Assessment, the Pretend Play Enjoyment Developmental Checklist and the Animated Movie Test. From this research, Learn to Play Therapy was developed. Throughout the year, she is invited to present her work on the play ability of children nationally and internationally.



 Dr Siobhan Casey is a paediatric occupational therapist with experience in working with children, their families and teachers in a variety of settings. In 2018, Siobhan was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy from Deakin University. Her research primarily focused on understanding the developmental processes that occur for self-regulation and pretend play capacities in supporting resilience in children. Her prior research included identifying important markers and processes for change, for children with Autism participating in the Learn to Play program. Siobhan has presented on pretend play development at conferences both nationally and internationally and enjoys delivering training to a wide range of audiences interested in promoting the opportunity for pretend play development in children.

Siobhan has previously worked in early intervention community settings, private practice and specialist development schools. She is currently working within a mainstream school setting, supporting the implementation of pretend play within the curriculum. The aim of her current role is to support the promotion of student health and well-being within the school, alongside promoting the role of pretend play in supporting the capacity for learning. She is passionate about promoting positive emotional and social wellbeing in children through providing services that are appropriate, purposeful and sensitive to the needs of the child and their family. The Learn to Play program and range of accompanying assessment tools provides a framework for service delivery that is both sensitive and meaningful to a child and their family’s needs and supports this passion. Siobhan continues to research the impact of pretend play development on global developmental functioning and has further interests in researching the role of pretend play development in supporting positive health and wellbeing across the lifespan.


April 28, 2022 @ 9:00 am
April 29, 2022 @ 4:30 pm


Learn to Play


Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne
328 Flinders Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
+ Google Map
+ 61 (0) 3 9250 1838


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Learn to Play Therapy - Part 2: Refining Skills (2 Day Face to Face Workshop)
$ 785.00 GST incl
30 available

Workshop cost
The workshop cost includes pre-workshop refreshments, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea, and all workshop resources.

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.
Cancellations made within 7 days prior to the commencement of the workshop will be subject to a catering and administrative fee and 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 registrants.

The Rendezvous Hotel is offering our delegates a 20% discount off the best rate available at the time of enquiry. Rooms are not holding and are subject to availability. Bookings can be made via the link below or by calling the Rendezvous Hotel reservations team on 03 9250 1877.


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Parking: The Rendezvous Hotel offers self-parking at $25 per car per day.