Intensive Filial Therapy Training Program

This workshop can be arranged in your location or for your organization. Please contact Dr. Risë VanFleet for details at rise@risevanfleet.com

Register Early – These workshops are limited to 6 people per instructor and fill up quickly!

This workshop fulfills part of the training requirements for the Certified Filial Therapist Credential (information provided at the workshop)



Directions and lodging information will be sent with confirmations by email.
**If you have 6 people in your area interested in this workshop, it can be offered locally.  Please contact Dr. VanFleet by phone for details.  (717-249-4707).**

Please dress comfortably!

Ask about an optional 6-10 CE credit add-on at minimal cost!


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 intermediate level workshop on the knowledge and skill needed to conduct of Filial Therapy effectively.

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 a highly effective, empirically-supported intervention integrating family therapy and play therapy to address child and family problems. Therapists learn how to train and supervise parents as they conduct special child-centered play sessions with their own children (ages 3-12+), an approach designed to resolve a wide range of presenting problems while strengthening family relationships.

Filial Therapy has been used successfully with many child and family problems: oppositional behaviors, anxiety, depression, abuse/neglect, single parenting, traumatic events, attachment/adoption/foster care, relationship problems, divorce, family substance abuse, family reunification, chronic illness, families of children with ASD, and many others. A research history spanning more than 50 years has consistently shown Filial Therapy to be cost-effective in facilitating positive and long-lasting child and family change. The use of this relatively short-term, evidence-based approach has increased dramatically worldwide in recent years due to its effective, empowering approach to strengthening families.

Filial Therapy has been used in many different settings. Furthermore, it has been embraced by many cultural and ethnic groups throughout the world because of its respectful involvement of parents as partners in the process of family change. It is unique in its ability to meet the needs of all family members while addressing the reasons the families came for therapy in the first place.

This workshop gives participants all the skills they need to immediately conduct the full family therapy form of Filial Therapy developed by the Guerneys, along with a number of other formats that are available.

Learning Objectives
Participants in this training will be able to…

  1. describe at least 3 advantages of Filial Therapy (parent/child play therapy) over individual play therapy.
  2. teach the 4 Child-Centered play therapy skills to parents using mock play sessions.
  3. help parents understand the value of play therapy and their involvement in their children's treatment.
  4. observe parent-child play therapy sessions and provide constructive feedback to parents to improve their skills.
  5. discuss themes of the play therapy sessions with parents to further understanding of the child and the relationship.
  6. help parents generalize the use of the play therapy skills to everyday life situations.
  7. monitor home-based play therapy sessions between parent and child to ensure maintenance of skills
  8. discuss some of the primary research that has been done on this powerful family play therapy approach (Filial Therapy)
  9. help parents process their own feelings and dynamic issues that are elicited by the parent-child play therapy sessions.

Prerequisite Training/Reading
Participants must have prior training and supervised experience specifically in Child-Centered Play Therapy/Nondirective Play Therapy, have read the books, Child-Centered Play Therapy (VanFleet et al, Guilford 2010), Filial Therapy (VanFleet, PRP, 2014), and attended a live introductory workshop or distance learning course in Filial Therapy (FT). The distance learning course is an online course, Intro to FT. Both the books and the online course are available at low cost at online store. Please attach a brief description of your background & how you meet the prerequisites with the registration form or via an email to Dr. VanFleet. If you do not have the CCPT/NDPT background, please contact Dr. VanFleet so she can suggest ways for you to meet that requirement. If you have questions about any aspect of your background, please contact Dr. VanFleet at rise@risevanfleet.com.

The Training Process
The workshop is very hands-on, with many videos, live demonstrations, and skill practice segments in which participants can develop their competence and confidence in conducting Filial Therapy. The participant-to-instructor ratio is kept very low (6:1) so that individualized feedback can be provided in a safe, friendly, encouraging environment.

The workshop is conducted in a parallel manner to Filial Therapy itself. It is conducted with the participants using the same principles and methods as they eventually use with parents and families. Past participants have given high praise to this approach.

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 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 5:45 pm, with an earlier dismissal on the last day. There are 27 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). 27 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) $850
Regular Fee (paid within 4 mos. of wkshp start) $985
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 27 hours of training, handout book, light refreshments. 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.


Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC
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.

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.  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.