Overcoming Resistance: Engaging Parents in Play Therapy


When therapists work with children, they also work with their parents or caregivers. The relationship with parents can have a huge impact on the course of therapy. Parental resistance to play and family therapies can take many forms. Some parents expect that therapy alone with “fix” their children; others are skeptical about the entire process. This 4-hour video-based online course explores the types and sources of parental resistance to play and family therapies and provides viewers with practical methods for working with challenging families. This course includes ways to explain play therapy and Filial Therapy to parents who might be skeptical, as well as ways to handle many different forms of resistance. The course includes several video demonstrations of the methods by Dr. VanFleet.

CE Credits Available: 4

Instructor: Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC, Licensed Psychologist (PA)

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to…

  1. Describe why labeling parent as “resistant” might result in a less beneficial therapeutic relationship.
  2. Explain what it means to look at resistance as a natural part of the process.
  3. Compare and contrast an expert model vs. a collaborative model of conducting therapy.
  4. Describe the value of explicitly tying client needs to recommendations.
  5. Identify at least 3 different forms of resistant behavior of parents.
  6. Explain the role that cognitive restructuring can play in alleviating resistant reactions.
  7. Identify at least 2 things a therapist can do when parents fail to follow through.
  8. Describe at least one key skill in de-escalating an angry parent.


You will automatically receive the course materials upon completion of payment. Please make sure that you add rise@risevanfleet.com to your address book or email whitelist. The course materials will come from this email. If you do not get the materials within 1 hour of completing checkout, please check your spam or junk folder.

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