**PAID**Helping Children & Adolescents Thrive: ACACI Spring 2019 Conference
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**PAID**Helping Children & Adolescents Thrive: ACACI Spring 2019 Conference

When: Friday, March 1, 2019
9:00 AM
Where: Nineteenth Century Charitable Association
178 Forest Ave
Oak Park, Illinois  60301
United States
Contact: Peggy Mayfield

Online registration is closed.
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Helping Children & Adolescents Thrive

ACACI Spring 2019 Conference

Registrations Completed by February 24th will Receive a Free Continental Breakfast, Lunch, and Snacks.


Session 1: Play Therapy: Three Essential Skills

Dr. Laura Tejada, PhD, LMFT, LCPC

9:00 am – 10:45 pm

In this introductory, experiential workshop, participants will learn about and practice three basic play therapy skills of Adlerian Play Therapy: Tracking, Reflection of Content, and Limit Setting. After an overview of the importance of developmentally-appropriate play therapy interventions with children and play therapy as an evidence-based intervention, the majority of time will be on skill acquisition and practice.

Workshop overview: Introduction to play therapy, toy selection, tracking practice, reflection of content practice and limit-setting introduction. If time permits, we will view a portion of a play therapy session. Questions and comments will be taken throughout the workshop.

Program Goal: The goal of the workshop is to increase the effectiveness in the use of play-based techniques for counselors and build an awareness of the ACT model of limit-setting (Landreth, 1991).

Three Program Objectives: Participants will: 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the value of play-based interventions in therapy sessions 2. Demonstrate an awareness of toy selection in play therapy 3. Demonstrate basic competence in core play therapy skills 4. State appropriate limits for play therapy sessions

Session 2:  10:45 am – 12:10 pm

Dr. Catherine Tucker, PhD, LMHC, RPT-S

Using Theraplay to Address Trauma

This session will explore the science of trauma and toxic stress that result from poverty and adverse experience and introduce a framework for understanding how they impact children’s mental health. The presentation will examine developmental connections between trauma, stress and child behaviors that teachers see in the early childhood classroom.  Finally, the presenter will provide attachment-based and play-based strategies that teachers can use to help children and families build reliance.

Sunshine Circles are teacher-led developmental play therapy groups that can be used to support children with behavior and mental health needs as well as to support general social/emotional development.  This presentation will describe the playgroups and discuss how the dimensions of structure, engagement, nurture and challenge are embedded in games and interactive sequences to promote a warm sense of community and the healing power of shared joy.  Participants will learn how therapeutic play is currently being provided in schools for children who have experienced the trauma of neglect and violence or the stressors of at-risk families and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or behavior disorders. 


Therapeutic activities will be demonstrated live and in video to help participants learn several games and how to adapt them for different populations.  Interactive discussion regarding the sequence of activities and interactions designed will help participants understand how play creates affective attunement and co-regulation of physical and emotional states.  For children who are often dysregulated or unable to interpret nonverbal social cues, these play groups provide opportunities to master new social/emotional skills in a nurturing peer community. Finally, the presenter will share her experiences regarding outcomes and practical issues of working in school settings including building administrative support, therapeutic alliance with the teachers, and implications of working within the Common Core.


Program Goal: Sunshine Circles is a form of group Theraplay® that provides children with a positive, well-regulated, emotionally rich and rewarding experience with other children and trustworthy adults. It is a powerful intervention for improving the social and emotional well-being and resilience of young children, particularly those living in highly stressful environments.  It can be used effectively by teachers and mental health providers with low start-up and maintenance costs. This interactive presentation will provide video and live demonstrations to help participants understand the principles and techniques of therapeutic play. Protocols, lesson plans, and a list of games and activities will be provided.


Three Program Objectives: 1. Participants will understand the rationale, principles, methods, and protocol for Sunshine Circles, a program for integrating play therapy into classrooms to support children with mental health needs. 2. Participants will learn five therapeutic activities to use with young students and methods to adapt these activities for different ability levels. 3. Participants will gain awareness of research outcomes from preschool classrooms to measure the effectiveness of Sunshine Circles as a support for positive mental health outcomes.


Session 3. Introduction to Mindfulness Practice: Clinical and Personal Applications for Mindfulness with Children and Adolescents

Greta Nielsen, MA, NCC, LCPC

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

The presenter will discuss the importance of using mindfulness-based approaches with children and teens to improve their behavior, focus and distress tolerance in their home, social and school environments. Various mindfulness strategies will be taught and practiced during the presentation to provide attendees with hands-on experiences in order to better be able to provide this practice to their own clients. Tools to work with parents and incorporate mindfulness into their parenting will also be discussed.

Program Goal: Provide attendees with a brief overview and history of mindfulness and it's use in the mental health treatment with children and teens.

Three Program Objectives: 1. Attendees will increase their knowledge of mindfulness based strategies. 2. Attendees will be able to identify ways in which mindfulness increases focus, distress tolerance and anxiety management. 3. Attendees will be able to identify evidence based strategies to use with clients in their clinical setting.

Session 4: OCD Subtypes in Youth

Michael Blumberg, MA, LCPC

2:45 pm – 4:00 pm

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is an often-missed diagnosis as its symptoms widely vary in presentation. With this in mind, continuing education on the subject is essential, as early detection and treatment are important predictors of successful recovery. While most clinicians and laypersons know some of the classic symptoms of OCD, there are many symptoms that go unnoticed or minimized as non-clinical behaviors. Add to this that most children and adolescents with OCD experience shame about their symptoms and go to great lengths to mask or hide their symptoms, many suffer in silence for years without getting the help they need. The purpose of this presentation is to educate clinicians regarding the subtleties of the different subtypes of OCD and demonstrate how they manifest themselves in children and adolescents. We will discuss subtypes such as contamination/cleaning, harm/checking, scrupulosity, sexual orientation, sensorimotor, and others. We will also discuss evidence-based treatments for OCD including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure & Response Prevention (ERP) and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Program Goal: * To educate clinicians regarding the subtleties of the different subtypes of OCD and demonstrate how they manifest themselves in children and adolescents.

Three Program Objectives: 1. Learn to identify OCD in children and adolescents, especially lesser-known subtypes. 2. Understand evidence-based treatment options for OCD. 3. Know when to treat, consult or refer clients with OCD.


Registration - 8:30am - 9:00am
   First Session - 9:00m - 10:30am
          Second Session - 10:45am -12:10pm 
Lunch - 12:10pm -1:00pm   
     Third Session - 1:00pm -2:30pm    
      Fourth Session - 2:45pm - 4:15pm    


6 CEs will be awarded for this event!

Registration Fees

ACACI Student Members and ACACI Regular Members-- $40

ICA Member Students, ICA Members, and Others-- $60

On-Site Registration--$70.00

ACACI Student Member Volunteers—Free & $14.00 for Lunch if desired

ICA Student Members that register as a volunteer--$30.00 lunch is included in the price

ACACI Volunteers will need to purchase lunch by February 14th or have lunch on their own