Advanced Filial Therapy Training: Facilitating Family Progress

2018 Workshops
  • August 10-11 -- Lowick, Northumberland, UK
  • September 11-12 -- Anchorage, Alaska, USA
  • November 13-14 - Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania USA
  • offered by our Certified Instructors in other locations

Register Early – These workshops are limited to 8 people per instructor and fill up quickly!

Please dress comfortably!



Directions and lodging information will be sent with confirmations by email.

Who Should Attend
This training program is designed for play therapists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, psychiatrists, family therapists, school counselors, and other experienced professionals who work with children and families, and who meet the PREREQUISITES! This is an advanced level workshop on the knowledge and skill needed to apply Filial Therapy in more complex situations.

Description and Learning Objectives
Learn this remarkable family intervention and prevention approach from Dr. VanFleet, who studied extensively with its founders, Drs. Bernard and Louise Guerney, practiced it with a wide range of client challenges, wrote numerous books, chapters, and articles on it, and is acknowledged as one of the leading authorities in the world on Filial Therapy.

Filial Therapy is an evidence-based approach to child and family problems that has been shown consistently through clinical practice and research to be very effective in producing long-lasting change. This advanced workshop focuses on problems in the conduct of Filial Therapy and on parental change processes. Some parents make changes because they've learned new skills and the play sessions have helped them understand their children better. Other parents become motivated to change when the play sessions trigger personal and/or family issues and concerns. This triggering of parent "material" is nearly inevitable, and the skilled therapist uses it as an opportunity to help parents change their attitudes and behaviors and to solve problems.

This 2-day workshop covers the advanced Filial Therapy skills needed to handle common and complex problems that arise in therapy and to foster parent change. A respectful, collaborative problem-solving model of working with parents is presented. Participants in this advanced workshop will have many questions answered and also learn how to...

  • handle common problems at different stages of Filial Therapy
  • help parents gain an accurate understanding of their child's play, and consequently of their child and themselves
  • recognize when Filial play sessions trigger parent or family issues and how to handle that
  • facilitate problem-solving by parents to deal with their own and their children's problems
  • overcome resistance in various forms
  • maximize their effectiveness in conducting Filial Therapy

Prerequisite Training/Reading
This advanced training is designed for clinicians who have completed the Intensive Filial Therapy Training Program and who have conducted FT with at least 5 families, with at least 2-3 under supervision. If you have any questions about your eligibility for this training, please contact Dr. VanFleet at rise@risevanfleet.com. When registering, please send an email to Dr. VanFleet indicating how you have met the prerequisites.

The Training Process
The Advanced Filial Therapy Training Program is limited to 8-10 participants to permit extensive skill practice & case consultation with individualized coaching & feedback. Dr. VanFleet presents brief lectures, live and videotaped demonstrations, case studies, and supervision/feedback to participants as they practice during role plays. All is done in a playful, positive learning atmosphere.

Special Needs
We are committed to making workshops accessible to everyone. Please contact us if you have special needs as early in the process as possible. Please note that there are dogs and cats present on the premises in Pennsylvania where the workshop is held. Please inform us of any allergies when you register. We can make arrangements in advance to ensure your comfort!!

The training runs daily from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm. There are 14 actual training hours. Participants need to plan to attend the entire workshop. Early departures on the last day forfeit all of the CE credits!

Continuing Education
The Family Enhancement & Play Therapy Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The FEAPT Center maintains responsibility for this program and its contents. The Family Enhancement & Play Therapy Center is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (5732) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The FEAPT Center solely is responsible for all aspects of the program. It is also an Association for Play Therapy (APT) Approved Provider 95-014. This program has been approved by a number of state social work boards (please contact us for this info). 14 continuing education credits/clock hours will be awarded to participants who attend the entire training. Partial credit cannot be given. No exceptions can be made to this policy. CE credits/clock hours for any online courses are awarded separately.

Please dress comfortably! We will be spending considerable time on the playroom floor!

Fees & Cancellation
Fees are in USD ($) (credit card will convert from other currencies)

Early Bird Fee (registered and fully paid 4 months prior) $575
Regular Fee (paid within 4 mos. of wkshp start) $700
We regret that we are unable to offer payment plans.

$275 of the registration fee is nonrefundable. Registrations are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. Fees include 14 hours of training, handout book, electronic files of numerous articles, light refreshments throughout. Lunches and dinners are on your own.

$275 is nonrefundable. Written cancellations received 4 months prior to the start of the workshop will receive a full refund of the balance of the fees. Cancellations received after the 4-month point will forfeit a total of $385, with the remainder being refunded. (continued next page)

We regret that no refunds can be given in the final month preceding the workshop. (When someone from the waiting list can substitute, partial credit toward future trainings may be given.) We urge you to consider purchasing travel or other insurance to protect against unforeseen circumstances!

In the very unlikely event that the workshop must be cancelled or postponed by the organizers, the Family Enhancement & Play Therapy Center, Inc. and its assigns will provide a full refund of the registration fees. Participants will be responsible for their own travel fees, another reason to consider purchasing travel insurance. To date, a workshop has never been cancelled.


Dr. VanFleet is a Licensed Psychologist, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, Certified Filial Therapist/Supervisor/Instructor, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, and Certified Animal Assisted Play Therapist/Supervisor/Instructor with 45 years of clinical and leadership experience in a variety of settings. She is the president of the Family Enhancement & Play Therapy Center, Inc. in Boiling Springs, PA, director of its Playful Pooch Program, and co-founder of the International Institute for Animal Assisted Play Therapy. She is a Past President/Board Chair of the Association for Play Therapy. She has authored dozens of books and chapters on play therapy, Filial Therapy, and Animal-Assisted Play Therapy, and is featured on DVDs and video-based online courses. Dr. VanFleet specializes in strengthening family relationships through play, and has subspecialties in chronic medical illness, interpersonal relationships, disaster mental health, child/family trauma and attachment interventions using play therapy, and animal-assisted play therapy..

Risë has trained thousands worldwide, and her books and materials have been translated into several languages and used in over 65 countries. She has received 12 prestigious awards for her training, writing, and leadership, seminars and skill-building workshops in this field. She is highly regarded as a teacher and clinician, and many people rate her workshops as the best they have ever experienced.

Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC

She is the author of Filial Therapy-Strengthening Parent-Child Relationships Through Play (3rd ed), A Parent’s Handbook of Filial Therapy, and The Human Half of Dog Training, coeditor of the Casebook of Filial Therapy, and coauthor of Child-Centered Play Therapy and Animal Assisted Play Therapy. Her book, Play Therapy for Kids & Canines was honored by the Dog Writers Association of America. She is featured on several best-selling online courses on play therapy topics, Filial Therapy, and Animal Assisted Play Therapy™, as well as the American Psychological Association’s DVD, Filial Play Therapy.

Dr. VanFleet has been honored with the Distinguished Contributions to the Science and Practice of Psychology (Pennsylvania Psychological Association), Bernard G. and Louise F. Guerney Award for Outstanding Contributions to Practice and Training in Filial Therapy (AFREM), the Play Therapy Professional Education & Training Award (APT), and others. She is a Past President/Board Chair of the Association for Play Therapy. She is also involved in the development of Animal Assisted Play Therapy. She is a popular featured speaker at national and international conferences, and considered the foremost authority on Filial Therapy in the world who is still conducting workshops. Risë is also an accomplished pianist and an award-winning nature photographer specializing in Alaskan wildlife.

(Other certified instructors sometimes assist with this training program to ensure that each participant receives the individualized feedback that is so valuable.)

This workshop and presenter have no conflict of interest in presenting this workshop, nor is there any commercial support.