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CIPTAR Psychoanalyzes Children Behavior

By Jeniel Terrero
Assistant News Editor

The University’s Children’s Institute for Play Therapy and Research (CIPTAR) will host its first annual Play Therapy Workshop on Friday, Nov. 13. The workshop will analyze therapeutic play methods for children exposed to trauma using psychological and clinical exercises.

Courtesy of Geoff Goodman
Courtesy of Geoff Goodman

CIPTAR was founded this past summer by Dr. Geoff Goodman, an associate professor in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program. The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program disciplines students who want to practice as clinical psychologists with a concentration in serious mental illnesses, dialectical behavior therapy, and interventions with high-risk families, and substance use disorders.

Dr. Goodman explained that as a clinical child psychologist, he has always been interested in using play therapy techniques to work with children experiencing emotional problems. He wanted students who are also interested in the subject to participate in a real-life practicum, and therefore, has invited health professionals and students alike to join the workshop. “Just as adults use words, children use play to communicate. When developmentally appropriate, mental health professionals therapeutically use play to help clients, especially children, to communicate, resolve their problems, and obtain optimal mental health,” Goodman said.

The Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program, as of this past summer, has been approved to offer the coursework required for the registered play therapist credential. It has been licensed by the Association for Play Therapy, an organization of mental health professionals that applies the therapeutic power of play to communicate with and treat clients, particularly children. The two courses associated with the workshop, Introduction to Play Therapy and Advanced Integrative Play Therapy, are offered for the clinical psych doctoral students during summer sessions.

According to Dr. Goodman, the workshop is designed to provide mental health professionals and students with an introduction to two well-known play therapy treatment models in literature: psychodynamic play therapy and cognitive-behavioral play therapy. “The techniques related to these models will be presented and illustrated with cases of child patients who have been exposed to traumatic situations. The attendees will learn this material through lecture, videos, discussion, paired and small-group role-play and other activities,” said Dr. Goodman.

If this first play therapy workshop is successful, there will be additional play therapy events in the future. However, students must demonstrate an interest in this workshop if they want more play therapy events scheduled. The workshop is open to all students interested in the field of clinical psychology. The registration fee is $80 for undergraduate students, and $160 for mental health professionals.

The Nov. 13 workshop will take place in the Patron’s Lounge, Tilles Center, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students interested in the workshop must register by Nov. 6. Students can contact Dr. Geoff Goodman at for a registration form and additional information.

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