Newsletter: Volume 33, Number 1, March 2022


Volume 33, Number 1, 

March 2022

President’s Message

Dear amazing play therapy community,A quick introduction may be in order! I am Sarah Wright and I am your 2022 CALAPT President. I am always happy to begin new adventures, but was particularly excited to start out 2022 back in person with our amazing leadership team! In the CALAPT board, one spends a year as president elect before stepping in as president, and would you believe my whole preparation year was all virtual?! However, much like the California Redwood, our state tree, we were sturdy survivors offering virtual learning opportunities every step of the way! But that being said, it was such a breath of fresh (masked) air to be able to gather again after over a year of being unable to. I believe we all left that January weekend ready to bring our all into 2022 and beyond!

Our 100% volunteer-based team has already brought fun, exciting events to your areas! The San Francisco Chapter, Central Valley Chapter, and Los Angeles Chapter have all held networking events. Our San Bernardino Chapter hosted a virtual 6CE workshop with Ann Beckley-Forest & Annie Monaco on EMDR in play therapy. Then, I was beyond thrilled to be able to join the Los Angeles Chapter’s hybrid 6CE event in February hosting outstanding presenters, Leslie Baker and Dr. Jessica Stone, who taught us about utilizing virtual reality in play therapy. Watching the LA team work together to create a hybrid solution when omicron reared its ugly head, was like watching resilient California Redwoods stand in the face of fire and say “not today.” Being there in person for our very first opportunity to gather with the larger play community since March 2020, was also inspiring. The day brought hope and excitement about moving forward with more in person learning events this year!

Wait! Did someone say “more in person learning events this year?!” Well, yes, yes I did! We also have two more 6CE workshops available coming up in April, both in person. On April 2nd, the Sacramento Chapter is hosting Shelli Rose who is presenting Playing It Safe: Using Polyvagal, Trauma-informed and Prescriptive Practices in Attachment-Focused Play Therapy and on April 23rd, the Orange County Chapter is hosting Holly Willard who is presenting Using the Therapeutic Powers of Play with Teens and Tweens! Both are sure to be wonderful and should not be missed. Be sure to bookmark our website so you can periodically check for new postings as they come up!

One event that I am particularly looking forward to is the Southern California Regional Conference on May 5th and 6th with the esteemed presenter, Dee Ray. Again, we are coming back together to host this inspiring event in person as well! If you have never attended one of our California conferences, north or south, you are in for a treat. If you have never had the privilege of learning from Dee Ray, you are in for an even bigger treat. Hailing straight from the University of North Texas as a professor and director of the Center for Play Therapy where so many play therapy heroes have sprung from, she will be bestowing us with two days of learning best practices for parent consultation and introducing us to Child Parent Relationship Therapy. Mark your calendars and plan to come learn and play together! Register HERE.

It has been an exciting beginning to the year as we dared to move back into the unknown world of gathering with an ongoing pandemic. It has been uplifting to watch our volunteer leaders and board members stay sturdy like a California Redwood but also bend with the breeze like a palm tree to shift into the “new”mal of this place we have landed within the pandemic. While the adventure seems a little uncertain at times, every epic journey does! Our team is called to continue to bring our incredible members the very best trainings our field has to offer and to shift when needed and that is just what we do! We hope you will join us soon for one of our upcoming events so we can enjoy reconnecting with you too!

Always playfully yours,

Sarah Wright, LMFT, RPT-S
CALAPT President

CALAPT Mission Statement: The Mission of the California Association for Play Therapy (CALAPT) is to sustain a community of support for play therapists while promoting an understanding of play therapy and its effective practice through outreach, training and research, with special emphasis on diversity and the developmentally appropriate treatment of children’s mental health.

Featured Chapters


Central Valley Chapter

Central Valley held our first event of the year in February 2022. It was a hybrid networking event. Thank you to our attendees, and we look forward to seeing more attendees in the future. We will be hosting our first free CE event in July 2022 in person, focusing on play therapy with tweens and teenagers. Watch your emails for more information and ways to register. Central Valley is always looking for volunteers and hopeful future chapter leaders. You don’t need to be a play therapist. You just need to have a desire to help your community. If you’re interested in volunteering or serving as a chapter leader, please email Finally, Central Valley would like to thank everyone who completed our survey recently. Your feedback and interests will help us plan events for the future.

Central Valley Chapter Leaders:
President: Cindy Vang, LMFT
President-Elect: Gladys Lopez, LPCC
Past President:  Leticia Lopez, LMFT
Secretary:  MaryCruz Lara, LMFT

Los Angeles Chapter

Hi Play Therapy Community!

The Los Angeles Chapter has started 2022 with a bang! We have an amazing leadership team this year and every position is filled. We have Lisa Hernandez as our Immediate Past President, Maria Cervantes as our President-Elect, Dahlia Bagnis as our Secretary, and Safiya Tormo as President. We could not be more honored and excited to be serving the Los Angeles Chapter.

Our year began with a 6.0 training on February 12th with the wonderful Leslie Baker and Jessica Stone on Virtual Reality: Ethics and Application in Play Therapy. This was the first in-person CALAPT training in two years!! It was also the first CALAPT training to be offered as a hybrid event (in-person and live online) to increase access to this workshop. As a result of offering it as a hybrid event we had 30 participants. Check out the pic of us standing next to the first participant to sign in!

We had our first chapter networking event on March 5th   which was wildly successful as we had the amazing Althea Simpson join us to discuss trauma and play therapy with children and adolescents. If you missed the networking event, no worries! Althea will be joining us again as our 6.0 speaker August 6, 2022. So save the date!

We are proud to announce that Michael Erhig will be our 2.0 speaker in July on Therapeutic Gaming in the Play Room (exact date TBD).
We’ve also been busy promoting play therapy and the Association for Play Therapy through outreach at a local university and preschool.

At our retreat this year and our Chapter Meetings we came up with words to capture our intentions for 2022. Here is what we came up with: Celebrating Diversity through: Fun, Play, Passion, Ease, and Collaboration. It is our hope that these intentions are reflected in our trainings, being of service to our membership, and outreach events.

We welcome feedback and would love to hear from members about what trainings they’re interested in having in 2023. Please get in contact at

Peace and Love from the Los Angeles Chapter Leaders
President: Safiya Tormo, LMFT
President Elect: Maria Cervantes, LMFT
Past President: Lisa Hernandez, LMFT
Secretary: Dahlia Bagnis, LCSW

Orange County Chapter

Hello fellow play therapists! The Orange County Chapter is excited for this new year and a chance to reconnect in-person again. We are starting off the year with our in-person 6.0 CE event on April 23rd with Holly Willard presenting on “Using the Therapeutic Powers of Play with Teens and Tweens.” Registration is now open! Register HERE.

Next, we will host our first in-person, family friendly Networking event on June 25th at the Irvine Regional Park, where we will embark on a scavenger hunt and enjoy the trails. Finally, we have our 2.0 event on August 13th with Hannah Kissick, who will be presenting on “Engaging Parents in the Play Room.” We don’t plan on stopping here and are still brainstorming more ways to create additional in-person opportunities for social networking and reconnecting with all of our group members! So watch for those emails from your chapter leaders.

Orange County Chapter Leaders:


President: Jolvina Zuniga, Psy.D
President Elect: Evelyn De La Rosa, LCSW
Past President: Debbi Orr, LCSW, RPT
Maddisen Espeseth, Psy.D.

San Bernardino Chapter


San Bernardino kicked off 2022 on a wild ride with an amazing 6.0 CE event in February on “Let’s Play EMDR” with Ann Beckley-Forest and Annie Monaco. Thank you to our presenters, guests, and volunteers! Despite unforeseen challenges, our chapters come together to support each other in ways that never cease to amaze me. 

We are eager to play on with a 2.0 event in July on Sand Tray presented by Jennifer Harbor, a soulful fall networking event, and another 2.0 event in October on Drama and Play Therapy presented by Kimberly Koljat!

Big shout out to our amazing San Bernardino chapter members: Marelis Marrero (President), Jacqueline Lozano (President Elect), Mary Hoon (Secretary), and Stacy Kahn (Immediate Past President). Rogue is featured in our picture as he has melted hearts and made quite the impact in the play community. Keep in touch, don’t be shy, reach out with question or suggestions, and play on!


San Bernardino Chapter Leaders:
President: Marelis Marrero, LMFT
President-Elect: Jacqueline Lozano, LCSW, RPT
Past President:  Stacy Kahn, LCSW
Secretary: Mary Hoon, AMFT

San Diego Chapter 

San Diego Chapter Leaders have been busy promoting play therapy and APT.
Past President Esther De La Cruz has already hosted two outreach events this year! One via her workplace to clinicians and the other at a preschool. President Amanda Moore will also be sharing about play therapy at her work with clinicians discussing toy interventions. We’re so excited to share about play therapy with other clinicians and members of our communities.

Save the dates for upcoming chapter events:

Saturday 5/14: Networking Event

Saturday 9/17: 2.0 CE with presenter Kim Van Dussan

Saturday 11/5: 6.0 CE with presenter Jodi Smith 

Saturday 12/10 Networking Event

Keep a look out for emails with more details to come. You can join our email list by emailing We look forward to seeing you at an event soon!

San Diego Chapter Leaders:
President: Amanda Moore, M.S., APCC
President-Elect: Sara Schumacher
Immediate Past President: Esther De La Cruz, LMFT, RPT-S
Secretary: Elma Briceno, LCSW

San Francisco Chapter

Hello to Everyone! The San Francisco Chapter is so excited about 2022!!! We had our first Networking event at the beginning of the year where we got a chance to connect with some of our members and discuss what 2022 may bring us. Since then, we were able to connect with the fabulous Karen Pernet who has accepted our invitation to present on ROOTS OF OUR PROFESSIONAL SELF: Exploring Culture and Family of Origin Using Play Therapy Genograms, Sandtray and Puppets for our 6.0 event on August 27th – venue to confirm, but you can save the date. We are so thrilled about this event, our first in-person workshop since the beginning of this pandemic. For our 2.0 event, our own Chapter President, Karen Wolfe, has graciously volunteered to present on Hand in Hand Parenting in October – more details soon. We look forward to seeing everyone in-person!

San Francisco Chapter Leaders:

President:  Karen Wolfe, LMFT
President-Elect:  Suzy Young, AMFT
Past President:  Lorenzo Teixeira, LPCC, NCC, RPT-S
Secretary:  Neslihan Pinar, LMFT

Sacramento Chapter

The Sacramento Chapter is excited to announce our first IN PERSON event in over two years! We are so lucky to have Shelli Rose RPT-S, LMFT coming from Colorado on April 2nd for a 6.0 training on “Playing it Safe:  Using Polyvagal Trauma-Informed and Prescriptive Practices in Attachment-Focused Play Therapy.” Registration is open and you can register HERE.Our new 2022 chapter leaders are full of enthusiasm and collaboration after attending the annual Cal APT leader retreat in Irvine in January. We are brainstorming and planning a full year of events to reunite and engage our chapter members!

Sacramento Chapter Leaders:

President: Shani Thornton, MS, CCLS, RWWP
President-Elect: Geneva Knowles
Past President:  Terrah Tillman, LMFT

Secretary:  Annie Adams, MSW

Central Coast Chapter

The Central Coast chapter is on hiatus and is in need of chapter leaders.  If you are interested in volunteering to keep this chapter going, please email

2022 Regional Conferences

Southern California Regional Conference

Join us Thursday, May 5 and Friday, May 6 in-person in Newport Beach, CA with esteemed presenter Dee Ray, Ph.D, RPT-S presenting:

Ultimate Partnership in Play Therapy: Processes and Concepts to Make Your Parent Consultations More Effective ” (May 5)
“Child-Parent Relationship Therapy: Introduction to a Play Therapy Approach with Parents” (May 6)
Registration is now open!! Register HERE

Dee C. Ray, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC, RPT-S, CCPT/CPRT Trainer is Distinguished Teaching Professor and Elaine Millikan Mathes Professor in Early Childhood Education in the Counseling Program and Director of the Center for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas. Dr. Ray has published over 150 articles, chapters, and books, specializing in research specifically examining the process and effects of Child Centered Play Therapy in schools. She served as board member for the Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling and Association for Play Therapy, founding editor of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling, and an American Counseling Association Fellow.

Northern California Regional Conference
Friday and Saturday, September 23-24
Presented by Marshall Lyles, LPC-S, LMFT-S, RPT-S

More information and registration details to come! Stay tuned and visit to learn about these and more upcoming events!

California RPTs Featured in Upcoming Book


On March 10th Liana Lowenstein held a book launch for the fourth volume of her series of collected creative interventions.  Amongst the 75 contributors to the volume are two members of the California Association for Play Therapy: Lauren Stockly, LCSW, RPT-S and Carolyn Frances, LMFT, RPT.  Both contributed interventions in the Feelings Expression section of the book. 

 Lauren is a Child and Mental Health Therapist in Los Angeles who specializes in using play therapy to treat trauma and support emotional growth for children and families.  Her intervention is named “Feelings Monsters” which involves having the client envision their emotions as monsters and then creating them.  

 Carolyn has been serving children for over 10 years and works in private practice at Family Therapy Through Play, a Professional Corporation in Tracy.  Her intervention is named “Campfire” which involves building a campfire on paper to better understand how difficult emotions like depression or anxiety show up in the clients’ life.

During the month of March, the book can be purchased with a 25% off coupon. Information can be found at

What Is Your Board Doing For You? 

The CALAPT Board of Directors meets several times throughout the year to discuss the needs of CALAPT and its members. CALAPT strives to continue to provide awareness and understanding of play therapy and to provide various training opportunities. On January 29th and 30th  the annual leadership retreat was held both in-person and virtually to bring together Chapter Leaders and Board Members from throughout the state to meet and to brainstorm ideas for the year ahead and to provide support and guidance in the planning process of CE events. It was also a moment of fun in being able to gather and play, which is what play therapists do best!

Calling Past CALAPT Leaders! 
Are you a past CALAPT chapter leader or board member? We’d love to hear from you on where you are now and/or to share a piece of CALAPT history to feature in an upcoming newsletter! Please contact CALAPT Secretary at 

ADVERTISEMENTSEmployment Opportunities


Hopscotch was a new and interesting vendor that the 2021 APT Conference. They are a new company that has made quite an impact during the pandemic. In 2020 they launched a popular free telehealth platform designed specifically for play therapists.  On top of features like a 2-way whiteboard and screensharing, it also has a library to interactive therapeutic activities. You can check it out at is passionate about connecting families with accessible services.  The way they do that is by tackling some of the issues with insurances that prevents therapists from accepting it. Their forthcoming provider network, launching in CA later this year, has a wide range of practice management services. They will handle your insurance contracts, negotiate higher rates (around $120), do all the billing, and guarantee payment within 2 weeks.  The best part of their network is that all these services are provided at no cost to the therapist. Instead they charge the insurance companies a fee. Hopscotch-network members can also access free trainings, peer consultation groups, a community resource forum and more. Learn more at

  When you walk into the office at Kid Counseling Sacramento  for the first time you feel like you have found the place you belong! You want to work with kids, teens and families and be valued for the experiential types of therapy you know works with this population! 

You love the thought of learning more about play therapy and want to work with a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor, so you have the option of becoming a Registered Play Therapist. You want to be excited about seeing your coworkers and being part of a diverse team that enjoys team building days and training opportunities.  Kid Counseling Sacramento takes care of the referrals, marketing, and all other expenses that come with private practice, so you can focus on the clients you are working with and be glowing at the end of the day because you know you did excellent work.

If this sounds like you, and you are a licensed Clinician wanting to work 2-4 days a week, send over your resume, and a written cover letter to Lyla Tyler at  Tell me about the true you, why you’d fit with this practice, and tell me about your ideal clients with whom you envision doing your most awesome work!


 Orange County Family Wellness Group (OCFWG), a group private practice in Irvine, is hiring pre-licensed and licensed MFTs/LCSWs/Psychologists, as well an administrative/billing office manager. OCFWG is co-led by Registered Play Therapist Supervisors Dr. Parie Faridnia and Dr. Nicole Chavez. We provide competitive compensation, a steady stream of referrals, supervision/consultation, and candidates can work remotely or hybrid. Considered candidates should be independent, driven, bright, collaborative, and enhance our connected, and positive-minded environment. We believe in keeping our knowledge bases strong and open to continued learning and education. We offer a supportive, close knit, playful, and laid back working environment. For more information or to apply, email us and/or submit resume to, or go to We look forward to hearing from you- Drs. Parie and Nicole 😊

AMFT Opportunity:
Child Therapy San Diego,, a practice dedicated exclusively to children and adolescents, is hiring an AMFT.

If you are passionate about working with children and about applying the therapeutic power of Play send your resume to Raphaella Croccia LMFT, RPT-S, at
We are looking forward to welcoming our new team member!

Blumberg Family Therapy Group is looking to hire licensed/associate MFT, clinical counselor, clinical social worker to work in a small group practice in Carlsbad/Del Mar California. Specializing in children is paramount and ability to work with teens and adults. Kindly contact Adrienne Blumberg at 858-349-1422. In person preferred. Telehealth an option depending on client’s needs.

Do you have a job listing, office space to lease, or supervision to offer?? Did you know that as a member of CALAPT you can advertise in the newsletter for FREE??

Contact to learn more or to send in your ad for the next newsletter!

2022 CALAPT Board of Directors:

President: Sarah Wright, LMFT, RPT-S
President Elect: Stacy Kahn, LCSW
Immediate Past President: Parie Faridnia, Psy.D., RPT-S
Treasurer: Cristina Minchala, LMFT, RPT-S
Secretary: Rosemarie Minera, LCSW, RPT-S
 Web Administrator Chair:  Carolyn Frances, LMFT, RPT
Southern Regional
Conference Co-Chairs:
Allison Locke, LCSW &
Jennifer Harber, LCSW, RPT-S
Northern Regional Conference Co-Chairs:
Lyla Tyler, LMFT, RPT-S & Rita McCampbell, LMFT, RPT
Outreach and Promotions Manager:
Lindsey Krogh, LCSW, RPT-S
Continuing Education Manager:
Violet Mesrkhani, Ph.D.





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