Play 2021 Darwin Conference

WHEN: June 30th to July 2nd 2021 
WHERE: DoubleTree  by Hilton Hotel Esplanade, Darwin

Play Therapy 2020 is a 3 day experience not to be missed.
The conference will attract approximately 150 -200 delegates, nationally and internationally.

Celebrating 10 years of Play Therapy Day.

This conference will continue to raise awareness about the benefits of Play Therapy by also bringing in so many wonderful professionals to also gain awareness about why this wonderful day is so important to the field.

Play Therapy Day being started in 2010 really supported the national and internationally Asia pacific countries with a day to get out and highlight the wonderful things that Play Therapists do for children, families and communities within Australia and internationally.

Conferencing in Darwin:

Work, Rest and Play.  Why not discover Darwin in its wonderful dry season where the temperature is typically like a lovely Spring day. Avoid the winter and potentially stay the week. With Kakadu on the door step and just a hop, skip and a jump to the jumping crocodiles, there are so many wonderful things to do in this wonderful location.   

Delegate professional backgrounds will include but will not be limited to:   

Play Therapists, Art Therapists Social Workers Occupational Therapists Mental Health Workers, Psychotherapists Counsellors Psychologists, Nurses, Early childhood and primary school teachers Education providers, Pediatric Health Workers, Researchers and academics individuals interested in child’s early childhood, wellbeing and welfare



Due to Covid-19 these date will be updated asap

Mates Rates: from 15/10/19 – $540
Very Early Bird: from 15/12/19 – $550
Early Bird: from 15/2/20 – $570
Full fee: from 15/4/20 – $600
– Member rates for APPTA/APTA offered
– 3 day tickets come with welcome drinks and conference dinner for one adult


Group Name: PLAY CONFERENCE 2020
Group Code: GPLAY
Check-in: 27-JUN-2020
Check-out: 07-JUL-2020

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For more information, contact
or call 04 1111 8620

Guest Speakers

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Dr Rick Gaskill

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Dr Brandy Schumann

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Ms Yael Livneh


Dr. Gaskill is a RPTs working in mental health for 42 years and teaches at Wichita State University.  He is a Child Trauma Academy Fellow. He has published and lectured extensively on the neurobiology of trauma and play therapy throughout the US, Canada, and Australia.

Workshop Information

The 6 core “R”s behind the how and why Play Therapy works across diverse environments.  

This workshop will be ideal for a wide range of professionals who work with children and will give an enhanced understanding of not just the benefits of  Play Therapy but the neuroscience behind it.

Relationships have been a therapeutic element observed and discussed in the play therapy literature for many years (Allen, 1942; Axline, 1947; Landreth, 2002; Moustakas, 1953; and Taft, 1933).  In the late 1990’s, new scientific information began to inform us of the emotional, social, cognitive, and behavioral impact of trauma on the developing brain of children. This research continues to influence the way play therapists conceptualize and treat complex trauma. As play therapists gain understanding of the changes in functional capacity of traumatized children, expectations for children change and became more realistic. This improved understanding of altered functional capacity of the brain, in turn has paved the way for viable trauma informed and developmentally sensitive interventions. Interestingly, this same neural scientific research confirmed that relationships are a powerful “driver” of effective interventions.  Research demonstrated that trauma informed treatment interventions rely heavily on relationally rich experiences between the child and significant adults. Without warm relationships even well-conceived, functionally appropriate interventions don’t work as well. In this vain, the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics described by Perry and Hambrick (2008) defined 6 core relational elements that promote positive neurodevelopmental experiences. They found employing relevant, repetitive, relational, rhythmic, rewarding, and respectful interventions greatly improved the effectiveness of play therapy interventions (Barfield, Dobson, Gaskill, & Perry, 2012; Gaskill & Perry, 2012, 2014, 2017; Hansen, 2011). This workshop codifies and operationalizes these concepts into workable techniques to maximize the healing potential in therapeutic experiences.

Workshop 1: Selling Play Therapy: Facilitating adult buy-in to the process

You’ve read the books and know the research. You’ve got your degree.  Heck, maybe you’ve even got your play therapy credential. You know play therapy works. But, they don’t.  Come learn to translate the powerful language of play to adults and increase your grownup’s interest, understanding, and commitment to play therapy services for the children in their lives. When we bring play therapy concepts into the adult world, parents, teachers, administrators, doctors, judges, grandparents… can’t help but love it too.


  • To expose attendees to explanations and metaphors for play therapy skills that laymen can easily grasp.
  • To support attendees increasing agency, professional and school buy in for service delivery
  • To experience increased understanding of play therapy concepts in the attendee’s personal adult world.
  • To practice delivering content that encourages adult participation and commitment to the process without betraying your client’s confidentiality.

Workshop 2: Reaching Pre/Adolescents through Play Therapy

Think you are cool enough to work with pre/adolescents? If you’re still using the word cool than probably not–but, you can be. Join us for a full day experiential workshop where we will explore the world of today’s teens and their journey through play therapy, from the first session to termination.  


  • Workshop will increase attendees’ sensitivity to the world of the pre/adolescent.
  • Attendees will learn why play therapy is a developmentally sensitive approach for pre/adolescent clients.
  • Attendees will be able to identify at least three therapy characteristics unique to working with a pre/adolescentclient in play therapy
  • Attendees will identify at least three play therapy activities to use with pre/adolescents

The workshop presentations will be a mixture of lecture, experiential activity, group discussions, and video demonstration.


Yael Livneh, MA, is an Israeli expressive art therapist with over 20 years of practice in psychodrama and inter-modality approach. She owns a private clinic for children and adolescents. Yael is the developer of the WPT (Water Play Therapy) method, and in 2015 she published her book: “Rising On Water”. She presents her method in front of medical and educational staff in hospitals and at Tel Aviv University. She does workshops of WPT for therapists around the world and gives supervision. Yael worked with communities in Africa through international organizations. Yael is a staff member in the academic program for play-therapy in Oranim College.

Workshop Information: The Secret of Water

This innovative approach of art-expressive therapy utilizes water as a main medium with which clients can express their feelings and project their personal narratives in an accessible and non-threatening manner. The use of water, colour and symbolic items  has been successfully applied with children who suffer from sensory processing disorders, communication problems (Ruth E.1952 / Verneer 1955), with adults that suffers from attachment deficits and social anxiety and trauma. However, there has been no clear procedure that accounts for WPT. I have developed a WPT protocol that has shown to be effective with clients  who suffer from affect-modulation difficulties. In this workshop we will provide the rationale for WPT and describe the procedure step-by-step.

Silver Sponsor

If you are interested in sponsoring our event, please contact us!