Using Nature-based Interventions in Family Play Therapy

Our 14th chapter of Nature-based Play & Expressive Therapies is co-authored by Jen Taylor, LCSW, RPT-S and Dr. Bree Conklin. In play and expressive arts therapies, parents and caregivers often need specific direction in how to play with their children to help address problematic behaviors or improve parent-child connection. Parents and caregivers often feel uncertain as to how they can incorporate nature-based play with their children outside of the therapy sessions. In this chapter, you will learn how to introduce nature-based play and expressive arts interventions within family sessions that can then be expanded into action plans parents can use with their children’s in-between sessions. These action plans provide a framework of experiences that can be accessed during follow-up sessions to further reinforce goals and provide families life-long resiliency and coping skills. Two case vignettes are provided by the authors to illustrate how to incorporate these ideas into family therapy.

When asked why this contributing to this book is meaningful to her, Jen Taylor said, "Many of my fondest memories include being outside with people I love. My goal with this chapter is to be able to help families make their time in nature a place where curiosity and creativity can thrive."

Jennifer Taylor, LCSW, RPT-S is a certified EMDR therapist. She received her Master’s degree in Social Work from Florida State University. She is an Adjunct Instructor for the University of Memphis. Jen coordinates and hosts training events for therapists and offers journaling therapy and related training opportunities. She is in private practice in Maryland and specializes in treating trauma in children, families and caregivers. Learn more about her work RIGHT HERE.

When Dr. Conklin was asked about her motivation for writing this chapter she shared, "In a world where we have more opportunity to be connected and communicate across various forms of media, families and individual family members are experiencing more disconnection and subsequent feelings of loneliness. The underscoring cannot be emphasized enough around the importance of exploring nature to find a way back to being in connection with one's self, family members, and the world around us--stronger connections with self and those we love most in the world make for stronger and healthier families."

Bree Conklin LCSW, DSW utilizes Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics, EMDR, Compassionate Bereavement Care, TF-CBT, Child-Parent Psychotherapy, Circle of Security, and Play Therapy. In addition to her clinical practice, Bree serves as contributing faculty at the University of Tennessee, University of West Florida, and Walden University. She is the founder, director and care-taker of the Starlight Care Farm in the beautiful hills of Tennessee. Learn more about Dr. Conklin's work RIGHT HERE.

Hop over to our HOME PAGE where you can purchase your own copy of the Nature-based Play & Expressive Therapies book and access your own packet of accompanying intervention handouts!

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