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Counseling Department Co-Hosted Play Therapy Conference

The Graduate Counseling Department successfully co-hosted the third annual Louisianian Association for Play Therapy Conference, The Many Faces of Play Therapy on March 6 and 7 at Loyola University. The conference attracted 150 counselors, social workers, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, and pediatricians from across the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. Dr. LeAnne Steen, Interim Chair of the Counseling Department, is a Board member for Louisiana Association for Play Therapy (LAPT). As the Membership Chair of the LAPT Board, she won 2nd place in the 2007 and 2008 membership campaign for the International Association for Play Therapy in recruiting new professional members. Dr. Steen has increased the LAPT membership by 30% this year so far, and will likely win another award for membership at the 2009 International Association for Play Therapy Conference in Atlanta. Since hurricane Katrina, play therapy has been the number one model used, to help children adjust across Louisiana, by helping professionals. Play Therapy is a fast growing discipline in the field of counseling. Play Therapy is “the systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development." Research has found Play Therapy to be an effective evidence based intervention in counseling. The conference was successful in providing professionals with more knowledge and tools to better serve children and families in developmentally appropriate ways.