Do you feel stuck in your work with teens?

Are you filled with anxiety or dread when you see teens on your schedule because you feel so exhausted trying to engage teens and figure out what you are actually going to do in session.  
Too old for a traditional playroom but not quite ready for full on talk therapy, working with teens can feel like you are stuck between the playroom and the couch

And it feels like you are bending over backwards for teens that present with lack of buy-in and engagement and who don’t exactly want to be in therapy, despite having big emotions and tough situations to navigate through.

You feel drained to be trying harder than your client.  

You ask a couple of questions and attempt to build rapport but you are left with silence, shrugs, and “I don’t know”.  A 45 minute session can feel like two hours

Most teens would say “my parents made me come” and balancing between keeping privacy and confidentiality for teens and involving parents can feel like you are walking a tightrope. Parents often have a laundry list of concerns they want therapy to "fix" and all to often...teens don't agree

Teens would often rather "deal with it" themselves or lean on their peers then open up in therapy.  Or they say they've already "worked through it" during the the 2am phone call with their friend. 

Not to mention all the other complex issues teens have like relationships, drugs and alcohol, safety issues, impulsive and risky behaviors, and media use.  You now have topics showing up in your playroom like sneaking out, stealing, unsafe relationships, fights and arguments, and not showing up to school.

Navigating the maze of teenage mental health can be overwhelming and exhausting and it's easy to feel over your head.  

You always tell yourself you're going to get more tools for teens someday. You're going to create that list and look on Pinterest for ideas, but that day never comes and the time you try to set aside always gets brushed off for the paperwork that's due and the phone calls and emails you need to return.

You might even be questioning if you want keep a caseload with teens anymore. 

But what if it didn't have to be like that? 

What would it be like for you to pick up your teen client from the waiting room for your next session and no matter what they brings to session for the day (and man, it's usually a curveballyou have 4-5 directive play therapy activities you could easily pull out without prep.  What would it be like for you to know you have the flexibility to listen to the concerns that come up for the day and balance the need to talk with activities that are creative, expressive, and effective? 

Now imagine this… 

  • You have teen clients that actually want to come to session
  • You come to session prepared with tons of new ideas of how to increase engagement and build rapport 
  • You have a large toolbox of directive Play Therapy activities teens actually want to do and are also effective 
  • You understand how to use the healing powers of play to indirectly access and focus on teens biggest difficulties like depression, self esteem, and anxiety 
  • You understand the exact developmental stages and changes that impact teens and how it affects their mental health
  • You have a clear understanding of how to maintain confidentiality for teens in a way that also appropriately involves parents in their care
  • You are able to have clear ideas of how to troubleshoot issues specific to teens such as peer pressure, media, chemical use, and relationships 

And all of this with tons of active handouts, downloads, and activities to use in your work with teens! 

To be able to provide a space where teens feel comfortable, heard, and validated all while having the support from YOU their therapist to do the hard work is that just-right-sweet-spot of what teen therapy should be. 

AND all of that becomes easier with the right skills, tools, and resources.  This course Growing Out of the Playroom: Teens and Tweens in Play Therapy holds your hand down the path of navigating the difficult and tough issues in working with teens to boost your confidence and competence

Inside the course you will learn:

  • 25+ directive play therapy interventions for teens and tweens to help with depression, self esteem, trauma and anxiety they will actually want to do 
  • A clear understanding of the developmental tasks, physiological changes, and brain development that happens during the teen years and how these affect mental health
  • How confidentiality changes for teenagers and how to manage confidentiality while still involving parents in therapy  
  • How to navigate the tricky developmental issues teens face such as impacted sleep, nutrition, and hormones 
  • Techniques specific to teen issues of peer pressure, social media use, drug and alcohol use, safety issues, and self esteem 

Want to learn more? Check out the details below! 

CE Information:

This course is approved for 5.5 APT Non-Contact hours by Meehan Mental Health Services (APT Approved Provider 19-580).  

Learning Objectives:

  • List and demonstrate 25 play therapy interventions to use for teens in areas of assessment, rapport building, depression, anxiety, anger, and trauma.
  • Describe the difference between developmental goals and tasks of early, middle, and late adolescence and describe how to support these tasks in play therapy.
  • Describe how development impacts functioning and mental health symptoms in adolescence including brain development, sleep, puberty, and regulation abilities.
  • Demonstrate specific skills that are unique teen therapy including managing confidentiality, rapport building and working through resistance, involving parents, and navigating suicidal ideation.
  • Identify and use techniques specific to adolescent populations to support peer pressure, social media use, drug and alcohol use, fluctuating hormones, and body image. 


Course Format:  Train when it works for you! This course is a pre-recorded online self paced course where the modules are broken up into smaller digestible chunks that can be completed during a client cancellation, on the weekends, early in the morning, late at night - whenever! You can login at your own pace, re-watch content, and have unlimited access to the course. This course is designated "Non-Contact" by the Association for Play Therapy.

Who should attend:  This program is a beginning to intermediate course for any Play Therapist who wants to increase confidence in working with teens and tweens in Play Therapy! 

Cost: $119.00 

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Introduction and Handouts

    • Introduction and Handouts

    • MMHS Growing Out of the Playroom Slides COLOR

    • MMHS Growing Out of the Playroom Slides B+W

    • MMHS 30 Day Gratitude Challenge for Children and Teens

    • MMHS Printable Calming Affirmations

    • MMHS Check In Prompts for Teens

    • MMHS Goal Setting Activity for Middle Schoolers and Teens 2 Fonts

    • MMHS Journaling Prompts for Teens

    • MMHS Inspirational Quote Cards for Teens

    • MMHS 42 Self Affirmations for Teens

    • MMHS Finger Labyrinth

    • MMHS New Mood Jar Coping Activities

    • MMHS Stay Calm Melting Down Parent Co-Regulation Guide

    • MMHS Vision and Action Board Activity for Middle Schoolers and Teens

    • MMHS Safety Plan

    • Disclaimer

  • 2

    Module 1: Being A Teen

    • Module 1: Being A Teen

  • 3

    Module 2: Teen Mental Health

    • Module 2: Teen Mental Health

  • 4

    Module 3: Working With Teens

    • Module 3: Working With Teens

  • 5

    Module 4: Teen Special Topics

    • Module 4: Teen Special Topics

  • 6

    Module 5: Theory

    • Module 5: Theory

  • 7

    Module 6: Techniques

    • Module 6: Techniques

    • Labyrinth Video

  • 8

    Module 7: Closing

    • Module 7: Closing

  • 9


    • MMHS Growing Out of The Playroom Bibliography

  • 10

    Getting Your APT CEs

    • Getting Your APT CEs