Creative Interventions for Children & Youth

September 27-28, 2018, 9:00am - 4:00pm

**Please note that an Eventbrite fee is added when registering online and paying by credit/debit/paypal.  To avoid this fee, register using one of the below options

​​​​Instructor: Jodi Mullen, PhD
Location: The Festival Inn, 1144 Ontario Street, Stratford 
Early Bird Cost: $349 CAD + 13% HST (=$394.37) by August 26, 2018

Regular Cost: $379 CAD + 13% HST (=$428.27) after August 26, 2018
Includes lunch, morning and afternoon refreshments

​**All prices are in CAD$. American Patrons - your dollar goes further! $1 CAD = $0.78 USD (as of May 2, 2018 - check online for current exchange rate) 

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: September 23, 2018 by 4pm

* For information about Group Rates and Discounts 
click here.

1) To register online and pay with credit or debit,
click here **

To download the poster, click here


​The Festival Inn is pleased to offered preferred rates for Mission: Empowerment guests. Rooms start at $119 + taxes (includes breakfast).  A block of rooms has been set aside for this event, up until August 26, 2018. For reservations, call 1-800-463-3581 or 519-273-1150 and quote "Mission Empowerment Block".  For other accommodation options, visit

Workshop Description

​​Mental illness is increasingly threatening the lives of our children; with Canada's youth suicide rate the third highest in the industrialized world (CMHA). Now, more than ever before, helping professionals need to be trained in effective strategies for working with children & youth if they will be interacting with this population, even if this group is not their primary clinical focus. At the same time, many helping professionals feel ill equipped to help.  This is especially true for those who don’t have specific training in child & youth counselling but who nonetheless find themselves at times needing to provide service to this population due to circumstances such as limited community resources, over-burdened systems, and changing agency mandates.  

This 2-day interactive workshop will provide participants with a comprehensive set of over 20 creative, practical and effective techniques to use in therapeutic work with children and adolescents - from toddler age through the high school grades and into early adulthood.  You will also learn principles and guidelines to help you organically and spontaneously develop your own tailored, individualized and relevant therapeutic assignments for each client, based on their unique situations, needs, feelings, perspectives and personalities. These interventions can be adapted to working with individuals or groups including families. Participants will also explore ways to talk with parents and caregivers about their children that demonstrate caring, empathy and sensitivity. 

​Topics Covered Include:

  • Factors contributing to the rise of mental health issues in childhood and adolescence
  • Factors that impede connection with children and adolescents and ways to overcome these factors
  • The importance of supplementing talk therapy with therapeutic activities and assignments that are experienced, so that results are more profound, integrated and long-lasting
  • Creative and effective interventions for working with children including:
    • Play based techniques
    • Therapeutic games 
    • Incorporating stories & music
    • Art
    • Multi-sensory experiences
  • Creative and effective interventions for working with youth including:
    • Use of irreverence and humour
    • Creative ways of accessing and expressing feelings and thoughts including writing, poetry, collage, photography, music, and use of technology
    • Creating symbolic situations to help work through difficult emotions and problems
    • Kinesthetic, tactile and somatic activities & homework assignments
  • How to craft interventions and therapeutic assignments for adolescents that are personally meaningful, incorporate their natural interests and talents, and are linked to clinical goals
  • Activities to address range of issues including depression, anxiety, high stress levels, low self esteem, grief and loss - and the behavioural manifestations of these issues
  • Activities to build coping skills & resilience
  • Strategies to engage mandated and non-communicative children & youth
  • Communicating with parents and caregivers in ways that reduce defensiveness and demonstrate caring, empathy and sensitivity

Who Should Attend?

Any helping professional who provides some form of counselling and who encounters children and/or youth in their practice, even if this is not their primary focus. This includes social workers, counsellors, psychiatrists, family physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, chaplains, and other social service and health care professionals. Background/experience in child & youth therapy is not necessary.

Cancellation Policy

An administrative fee of $50 will be charged for all cancellations.  Cancellation 14 or more days prior to the workshop date – receive a refund, less $50 administration fee. Cancellation less than 14 days prior to the workshop date – receive a credit, less $50 administration fee, to be applied to a future workshop. No credit or refund will be issued if you do not notify us in advance of the workshop date. You may transfer your registration to another person without prior notice.  The organizers reserve the right to cancel the event due to under-enrollment, instructor illness or inclement weather.  If a workshop is cancelled, any payment will be returned in full.

About the Presenter

Dr. Jodi Ann Mullen, PhD, is an Associate Professor at State University of New York at Oswego in the Counseling & Psychological Services Department where she coordinates the Mental Health Counseling Program and Graduate Certificate Program in Play Therapy.  She is also the Director of Integrative Counseling Services in New York.  She is a credentialed play therapist and play therapy supervisor and a sought-after international speaker and trainer.  

Dr. Mullen has authored and co-authored numerous books for helping professionals including
Counseling Children & Adolescents through Grief and Loss, Counseling Children: A Core Issues Approach, and Play Therapy Basic Training: A Guide to Learning & Living & the Child-Centered Play Therapy Philosophy.  She has also written books for children and parents including Naughty No More and the upcoming “Raising Freakishly Well Behaved Kids”. Dr. Mullen is on the editorial board for the International Journal of Play Therapy and was the clinical editor of Play Therapy Magazine. She was the 2008 recipient of the Key Award for Professional Training & Education through the Association for Play Therapy.

2) To register and pay with cheque or email money transfer,

 click here to download the registration form and follow the instructions on the form.

​In her spare time, Dr. Mullen hosts the weekly podcast Freakishly Well-Behaved Kids, where she addresses various topics connected to parenting and raising children.  

To learn more about Dr. Mullen go to: or