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Loyola’s renowned Play Therapy Center takes the spotlight during National Play Therapy Week

Loyola press release - February 1, 2019

EDITOR'S NOTE: The open house for the Play Therapy Center has been postponed and rescheduled to Tuesday, Feb. 19, from 4 to 7 p.m.

Parents, educators, clinicians and other community stakeholders are invited Tuesday to an open house for the Loyola University New Orleans Center for Play Therapy Center of Education and Research. The Play Therapy Center is now offering clinical services through the Loyola Center for Counseling and Education (LCCE) a new community-based mental health clinic that opened in January. The Loyola Center for Counseling and Education (LCCE) works with community partners to provide individuals, couples, and families with quality and affordable mental health services. As part of the LCCE, the Play Therapy Center will accept children age 2 and above for play therapy, as well as tweens, teens, and families for play therapy, activity therapy, sand tray, parent education and consultation services.

Next week’s open house, which runs from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5, puts Loyola in the spotlight during National Play Therapy Week, which runs Monday through Friday, Feb. 4-8. As part of the celebration, Loyola will host the Louisiana Association for Play Therapy professional conference in the Danna Center, where leading expert Liana Lowenstein will present on Friday, Feb. 8 and Sat., Feb. 9 for 12 hours of continuing education (ceu) in play therapy for mental health professionals across disciplines.

The Loyola University New Orleans Play Therapy Center of Education and Research, founded in 2008, is the only Approved Center of play therapy by the National Association of Play Therapy in Louisiana. It is the third play therapy center in the U.S. to be officially recognized and is one of fewer than 30 such centers in the nation. In May 2016, the center again received three-year designation as an Approved Center of Play Therapy Education from the national Association for Play Therapy (APT).

Play therapy is a form of mental health counseling or psychotherapy by which licensed mental health professionals incorporate the use of play to better communicate with and help clients achieve optimal mental health. Play therapists are trained in play therapy philosophy, theory, and facilitation. Mental health agencies, schools, hospitals, and private practitioners use play therapy as a primary intervention or as supportive therapy for children and families struggling with transitional life adjustments, emotional difficulties, behavioral problems, or disorders.

Students exploring play therapy in Loyola’s Counseling Department learn the most current methodologies and treatments in child therapy and address relevant topics such as behavioral concerns, childhood anxiety, and child counseling services. Their academic study encompasses areas such as: neurobiological benefits of play therapy, behavioral issues, childhood anxiety, chronic and terminal illnesses, consultations, ethical counseling, expressive arts, and supervision models.

Counselors in the Play Therapy Center are master’s-level interns working under the direct supervision of Loyola faculty. The clinic operates on a sliding scale fee structure based on income. The center will not turn away clients unable to pay.

“The Loyola University New Orleans Play Therapy Center of Education and Research is Louisiana’s premier location offering play therapy education for students and professionals,” said LeAnne Steen, founding director of the center and award-winning play therapist. “Our continuing education program, continued training, and conferences allow the play therapy center to pollinate the region with professionals who know how to respond to children and families in crisis. Each trained professional translates into literally hundreds of families and children affected by that individual.”

For more information regarding the Play Therapy Center, please visit the website at http://www.loyno.edu/play-therapy/

For more information regarding clinical services, or to set up an appointment, please visit the Loyola Center for Counseling & Education at CNH.LOYNO.EDU/LCCE

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