Elon University played host last week to the 6th annual fall conference of the North Carolina Association for Play Therapy, which brought to campus dozens of professionals who work with children dealing with grief, trauma and other issues that bring children to therapy.
The Nov. 14 conference in McKinnon Hall included workshops on the neuroscience of play therapy; helping children deal with grief from the death a family member; the intersection of play therapy and psychiatry; and a panel presentation on play therapy supervision.
“’Play’ is a child’s language, and toys are their words,” said Judy Esposito, an assistant professor of human services. “You can learn more about children by how they play in a safe environment than by asking them questions. Play is how children learn about the world, their place in it, and how they work through and understand things that happen.”
The workshop was designed for licensed counselors, social workers, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and students. About 100 professionals from across North Carolina attended, many of whom visited Elon for the first time.
‘This was an opportunity for me to showcase our beautiful school,” said Esposito, who serves as secretary of the statewide organization and helped bring the conference to the university.