Two Days of Play!

With Sophia Ansari, LPCC

September 12th and 13th

9:00 - 4:30

Presented by:


Sophia Ansari, LPCC, is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and is the coordinator for the Midwest Play Therapy Institute in Chicago, IL. She has worked with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. She provides workshops on play therapy to mental health professionals and educates parents and teachers on the importance of play as it relates to development and learning in the school
setting. She is a passionate research trainer who has bridged her knowledge of neuroscience and creative therapies to provide in-depth, highly experiential trainings at local, state and national events and conferences. Sophia co-hosts Hero Nation, a podcast on the Geek Therapy Network, which celebrates diversity in the media and explores how to use geek culture in therapy. She co-authored the
chapter, “Flourishing After the Origin Story: Using Positive Psychology to Explore Well-being in Superheroes and Supervillains” in the book, Using Superheroes and Villains in Counseling and Play Therapy: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals (edited by Lawrence C. Rubin). Sophia earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Wright State University and her Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Cincinnati. Sophia enjoys speaking at comic-cons and sharing her passion for all things geek!

The Details:

  • Each day is limited to 50 registrations.

  • Check-in begins at 8:30 am

  • Workshop begins at 9:00 am and ends at 4:30pm each day. 

  • Water, coffee and light snacks will be provided. 

  • There is a one hour lunch, on your own, and two 15 minute breaks built in to the schedule. 


  • Early Bird Pricing - Available until August 16th

    • ​One Day Attendance (Thursday or Friday only) - $90

    • Attendance to both days - $165

  • Regular Pricing - Starting August 17th 

    • ​One Day Attendance (Thursday or Friday only) - $105

    • Attendance to both days - $180

Of Note:

This workshop is a series of two days. Each day is self contained, but they will build upon each other. To get the most out of this training, attendance to both days is recommended. 

Each day will provide 6 CEUs

NM Counseling and Therapy Practice Board Provider Number CCE0135231

Association for Play Therapy Approved Provider 15-422 (Midwest Play Therapy Institute)

Day One:     September 12, 2019

Sandtray Therapy and Other Play Therapy Techniques


Sandtray play therapy is a highly therapeutic and multidimensional form of therapy which can bring about deep introspection and facilitate change. In this workshop, you will learn about the basic theory and practice of sandtray play therapy and how to integrate it into your work with children, adolescents and adults. Through experiential learning, you will have the opportunity to build a sand tray and learn the skills to facilitate the sandtray play therapy process for others. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the power of sandtray play therapy, as well as discover other play therapy techniques that can be incorporated into any setting, with any clientele.

Training Objectives:

  1. Demonstrate how to conduct and process a sandtray play therapy session for children and adults.

  2. Apply sandtray play therapy into your sessions through non-directive interventions.

  3. Demonstrate professional and personal insight through the creation of your own sand tray experience. 

  4. Apply creative play therapy techniques to build rapport and foster self-awareness and change with any clientele. 

  5. Explain the biological benefits of play therapy.

  6. Apply sandtray play therapy and other play therapy techniques in working with clients who have experienced trauma. 

Day Two:    September 13, 2019     


Using Superheroes and Pop Culture in Counseling and Play Therapy


We all have memories of using a blanket as a makeshift cape, jumping off the couch and imagining as if we were flying high up in the sky among the clouds. Superheroes have been such an integral part of our childhood. The themes in our favorite comic books can be used to help children and adults with the struggles we all encounter at some point in our lives (losing a loved one, being bullied, making poor choices). The stories may be stories of fantasy but what makes them all relatable is that the characters and narratives are grounded in human emotion.

Superhero themes in play therapy can be used to assess a client’s inner resources, their needs, strengths and can provide valuable information in diagnosis and treatment. The creative counselor can incorporate several modalities of treatment such as play therapy, art, drama, cognitive behavioral therapy, bibliotherapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, positive psychology and many other evidence-based modalities!

Training Objectives:

  1. Describe the history of superhero play therapy, its pioneers and its effectiveness in the treatment of children, adolescents and adults.

  2. Discuss the background stories and themes (grief, PTSD, substance abuse, trauma) of popular culture characters and stories.

  3. Apply valuable resources (web sites, books) to enhance your “geek therapy” knowledge.

  4. Apply creative play therapy interventions using superhero mythology.

  5. Apply play therapy interventions using superhero themes to promote strengths-based approaches and positive interventions.

  6. Discuss methods of introducing mindfulness and self-compassion using superhero themes.

  7. Utilize superhero themes with evidence-based practices such as play therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and positive psychology.