Skip Navigation

School of Education at Johns Hopkins University


Johns Hopkins University School of Education 5th Annual Play Therapy Institute

Please join the Johns Hopkins School of Education for the 5th Annual Play Therapy Institute with Dr. Eric Green. He will present an interactive workshop that focuses on his original Jungian Play Therapy model with children.


Saturday, July 11, 2015
8:00 am -8:30am Registration
8:30 am – 4:30 pm Workshop
12:00pm-1:30pm (Lunch)


Johns Hopkins University
School of Education
2800 N Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218


6 CE
APT Approved Provider #12-315
NBCC Approved Provider #4065
Please click here to register


Jungian Play Therapy: Guiding Children Toward an Undefended Heart


This workshop covers Jungian play therapy, an integrative model, which honors symbols and the healing nature of the analytic relationship. A practical overview of the theory/techniques will be illustrated, as well as active participation in mandalas, fairytales, and sandplay.


Children are subjected to a variety of psychological assaults and potentially traumatic events at school and home, including the dissolution of the family unit, that adversely impacts their psychological well-being (Carey, 2014). Technology permeates the lives of many children and has become, in some instances, a substitute for salient social interactions. Some children spend hours a day watching television alone and/or playing video games online. Meaningful social and familial relationships characterized by appropriate emotional/physical closeness are infrequent. As a result, some children feel isolated, disconnected, and overly dependent on technology for social connection. Furthermore, some children rarely play outside and reconnect to nature. Overtime, they may develop a guarded or defended heart, which inhibits their resilience. Jungian play therapy, an integrative model (Lilly, 2015), is one method of treatment from the “depth psychology” paradigm that is responsive to a child’s development and promotes a healing trajectory through (a) the use of symbols, (b) a meaningful, non-judgmental analytic relationship, (c) naturalistic play, and  (d) expressive art interventions (Green, 2014). Dr. Jung’s psychological concepts, sometimes viewed as erudite, can be translated and practically applied to young children to guide them toward developing an undefended heart. Some of the concepts this workshop covers include the analytical process of play, the “symbolic attitude,” analysis of the transference, amplification, and well-timed verbal interpretations. Analytical techniques such as sandplay (Zoja, 2011), coloring mandalas (Fincher, 2010), and fairytales, the conduits to strengthen the relationship between therapist and child (and ultimately the family), will be practiced.  

Learning Objectives

Objective 1*

After the workshop, participants will be able to recall the central premise of guiding children toward an undefended heart through Jungian play therapy and the analytic relationship.

Objective 2*

After the workshop, participants will be able to identify two characteristics of play therapists needed to conduct therapy with children from a Jungian perspective.

Objective 3*

After the workshop, participants will be able to articulate the research-base supporting play therapy interventions with children from an analytical perspective.

Objective 4*

After the workshop, participants will be able to identify the steps to facilitate two Jungian play therapy interventions: (1) mandalas and (2) fairytales.

Objective 5*

After the workshop, participants will be able to articulate the definitions for three Jungian concepts: (1) amplification, (b) interpretation, and (c) the transference.

Objective 6*

After the workshop, participants will be able to list three central archetypes prevalent in children's sandplay.



Source 1*

Lilly, J. P. (2015). Jungian analytical play therapy. In D. Crenshaw & A. Stewart (Eds.), Play therapy: A comprehensive guide to theory and practice (pp. 48-65). New York, NY: Guilford.

Source 2*

Carey, L. (2014). When pixies come out to play: A play therapy primer. Hamilton, ON: Genoa House.

Source 3*

Green, E. J. (2014). The handbook of Jungian play therapy with children and adolescents. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press.

Source 4

Zoja, E. P. (2011). Sandplay therapy in vulnerable populations: A Jungian approach. London, ENG: Routledge.

Source 5

Fincher, S. (2010). Creating mandalas: For insight, healing, and self-expression. Boston, MA: Shambhala.


Play therapists are charged with developing adequate levels of culturally-related awareness, skills, and knowledge when working with children. The author of this presentation will provide clinical vignettes that include culturally diverse children and the analytic process of remaining culturally-sensitive when working within a pluralistic society.

Presenter’s Bio:

Eric Green (, Ph.D., LPC-S, RPT-S, Jungian Sandplay Practitioner, is Associate Professor of School Counseling at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN as well as a Faculty Associate at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)'s School of Education in Baltimore, MD. He maintains a part-time summer teaching schedule at JHU’s Homewood campus in the School Counseling Fellows program and coordinates the annual JHU Play Therapy Institute.He’s the author of four books, including “The Handbook of Jungian Play Therapy,” “Counseling Families: Play-Based Interventions,” “Integrating Expressive Arts and Play With Children,” and “Play Therapy with Vulnerable Populations.” His recent films produced by Alexander Street Press include, “Jungian Play Therapy and Sandplay,” “Expressive Arts with Adolescents,” “Counseling Families,” and “Transformative School Counseling.” He is a regularly invited speaker on play therapy and sandplay throughout the U.S. and internationally, including recent keynote addresses in Canada, Australia, Hawaii, and Mexico.