Intensive Filial Therapy Training, September 23-26, 2021-In Person


Thursday through Sunday September 23-26, 2021—Limit of 6 participants

1 hour lunch and two 15 minute breaks each day are not included in the 27 CEs awarded.

Filial Therapy is a highly effective 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 presenting problems while strengthening the family.

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, and others. A research history spanning more than 40 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 settings and in both individual and group format. It has been embraced by many throughout the world because of its respectful and culturally sensitive involvement of parents as partners in the process of family change




The Family Enhancement and Play Therapy Center

3725 Coolidge Ave, Oakland, CA.  This training will be limited to 4 attendees.

This training is for psychologists, social workers, counselors, psychiatrists, family therapists, school counselors, & other experienced professionals who work with children and families.

The training works best if participants have prior training and supervised experience in Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) and a live introductory workshop or distance learning course in FT, such as the book Filial Therapy & the DVD workshop Intro to FT. Both are available at the Family Enhancement and Play Therapy on line store). Please attach a brief description of your experience. If you have questions about your own background, please call (510-923-0520) or e-mail Karen Pernet ( Karen will be glad to speak with you.

This training program has 27 actual training hours. The daily schedule is as follows:

  • Day 1 9:00AM-5:30PM
  • Day 2 9:00AM-5:30PM
  • Day 3 9:00AM-5:30PM
  • Day 4 9:00AM-4:30PM

Post training consultation can be arranged and is encouraged.

Karen Pernet, LSCW, Registered Play Therapy-Supervisor #23635 has been in practice for over 25 years. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker & a Registered Play Therapist Supervisor. Known for her encouraging and down to earth approach, she has been described as knowledgeable, supportive and playful.

Karen’s training as a play therapist includes a three year internship in Child Centered and Family Play Therapy with Dottie Higgins Klein, intensive training in Gestalt Therapy with children with Violet Oakland and Felicia Carroll and in sandtray. She is certified by Risë VanFleet and the Family Enhancement and Play Therapy Center as a Filial Therapist trainer. She uses Filial Therapy in her practice with a wide variety of families: for example, those with adjustment problems; with separation, divorce and step-parenting issues; with attachment and trauma challenges; with adoption, as well as with many other issues. She is also trained in EMDR, is a Certified Gestalt Therapist and is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. Prior to becoming a psychotherapist, she had 15 years experience as a social worker and supervisor in the field of child welfare and child sexual abuse.

“I consider myself very fortunate to work in the field I love.  I am pleased to have the opportunity to combine my life experience and my professional knowledge. My areas of specialty also include trauma, problems of childhood, women’s issues, single parenting, gay and lesbian issues, ethnic/racial/foster and adoption identity issues.”

Quote from a participant: BD LCSW
“I am actually still floating in the clouds since the training-I still can’t get over the unbelievable skills that I have acquired…the people that I have been privileged to work with for the four days. (As) you said I feel that I have gained a lot for myself, both within the Filial work & beyond.”

”Great balance between didactic and experiential” “I felt well taken care of”…”Feedback (after roleplays) was excellent-supportive and helpful” ….”It can’t be improved-it was soooo good” “Karen was very attentive to each attendee’s needs and areas of interest”

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

The Intensive Filial Therapy Training Program is limited to 6 participants per training leader to permit extensive skill practice with individualized coaching and feedback. The leaders present brief lectures, live and videotaped demonstrations, case studies, and supervision/feedback to participants as they practice during role plays.

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.

The Family Enhancement & Play Therapy Center, Inc, is approved by the American Psychological Association and the National Board of Certified Counselors (5732) to offer continuing education credits to psychologists and counselors respectively. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) now recognizes APA continuing education credit for license renewal for MFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs. This program has been approved by a number of state social work boards It is also approved by the Association for Play Therapy (95-014) to offer continuing education specific to play therapy. Family Enhancement & Play Therapy Center follows all CE guidelines and maintains responsibility for this program of 27 CE credits. Partial credit cannot be given.

$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. Written cancellations received 2 months prior to the start of the workshop will receive a full refund of the balance of the fees. Cancellations received after the 2-month point will forfeit a total of $385, with the remainder being refunded. 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.) If you are coming from a distance consider purchasing travel or other insurance to protect against unforeseen circumstances!

In the unlikely event that the workshop must be cancelled or postponed by the organizer, Karen Pernet & Growth through Play Therapy 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.

Enhance your play therapy skills!

1 + 14 =

Karen Pernet LCSW, RPT-S

Oakland, CA 94602

I would be glad to hear from you and to share information about my services: psychotherapy, general supervision for pre-licensed therapist, specialized supervision for therapists working becoming  Registered Play Therapists, consultations for experienced therapists and trainings in play therapy and sandtray therapy.