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Play Therapy Theories and Themes


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This training aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of play therapy theories and themes, equipping participants with foundational knowledge and practical skills for effective therapeutic interventions with children. Participants will explore various theoretical frameworks, delve into key themes in play therapy, and engage in experiential learning activities to enhance their therapeutic practice.

Meet Maria Laquerre-Diego, LMFT, RPT-S, a licensed therapist and CEO with a geeky flair on a mission to transform mental health accessibility and break down therapy stigma. With a unique journey from therapist to CEO, Maria offers a fresh perspective on mental health obstacles. 


Her mission extends beyond supporting mental health providers; she actively combats stigma by tapping into pop culture's power. Maria analyzes movies, draws superhero parallels, and links Disney characters to mental health, making her approach both innovative and captivating. A sought-after speaker, she shares insights at local events, serves on professional boards, and trains clinicians nationwide.


Outside her work, Maria treasures family time, globe-trotting, and creating intricate cosplays for her family. A diverse range of passions—from Star Wars to Marvel—blend seamlessly with her advocacy for mental health.


Explore Maria's impactful work at She's enthusiastic about discussing pop culture's intersection with mental health and its potential for positive change. Connect with her to dive into these engaging conversations!



June 22, 2024


Online Zoom Training


8:45 - Check in/Sign in on Zoom
9:00 - Presentation Begins
10:30 - 15 Minute Break
12:00-1:00 1 Hour Break For Lunch
2:30 - 15 Minute Break
4:30 - Presentation Ends


$150 Early Bird Pricing

$175 Regular Pricing


$80 Student Pricing

*Pricing includes CE Certificate

Of Note

This training will provide 6 CE Credits. ​A New Hope Therapy Center is an Approved Provider for the Association for Play Therapy (APT) - Approved Provider 20-631 and Maria Laquerre-Diego is an Approved Provider for the NM Counseling and Therapy Practice Board CCE020981

Training Objectives

  • Understand the fundamental theories underpinning play therapy.

  • Identify and analyze the core themes present in children's play, such as expression of emotions, symbolic representation, problem-solving, and attachment dynamics.

  • Explore the role of the therapist in facilitating and interpreting play within the therapeutic context, including establishing rapport, creating a safe space, and setting appropriate boundaries.

  • Develop skills in utilizing various play therapy techniques and interventions to address specific therapeutic goals, such as emotional regulation, trauma processing, and social skills development.

  • Recognize the cultural and contextual factors that influence children's play behavior and therapeutic outcomes, fostering culturally sensitive and inclusive practices.

  • Apply theoretical knowledge and practical skills gained in the training to case conceptualization, treatment planning, and ongoing evaluation of play therapy interventions.

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