Play Therapy Training in Chicago


Chicago, Illinois

For more information, contact:

Sophia Ansari, (708) 541-3365

MPTI Loves to Play in Chicago!

​MPTI provides on-site play therapy trainings!  Experiential and educational offerings brought to your entire staff/organization. Call Sophia at 708-541-3365 or email her at for more information.

Upcoming Events!

Sandtray Therapy and Other Play Therapy Techniques

Presented By: Sophia Ansari, LPCC

With our foremost attention on the health and well-being of our attendees and community, the Midwest Play Therapy Institute has made a decision to POSTPONE this workshop.  We will post updates on this event on our site.

Play Therapy Interventions for Dysregulated Clients

Presented By: Sophia Ansari, LPCC

Friday, May 8, 2020
9:00am - 4:00pm
Tuition: $160
CEUs 6
Location: Hyde Park; SSA: 969 E 60th Street, Chicago 60637

Registration Deadline: April 29, 2020

As humans we are born to love. Our health and ultimate survival depend on close relational ties with others. Advancements in neuroscience support the importance of play and relationships to healthy brain development. Play therapy can be utilized to promote healthy child development and attachment by integrating bottom-up and top-down (regulate to reason) functioning through fun, interactive, connection-building interventions.

This workshop will offer clinicians a framework for understanding theories and concepts such as the Polyvagal Theory, neurosequential brain development and the Interpersonal Neurobiology model (IPNB). Participants will apply this knowledge into play therapy to rewire the brain and create a sense of trust and safety for their clients. Participants will leave with immediately usable play therapy interventions that support and teach children and caregivers self-regulation and co-regulation skills.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify at least 10 new play therapy interventions to implement with your clients who are dysregulated.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the Polyvagal Theory and neurosequential brain development.
  3. Utilize play therapy interventions to help children and adolescents understand and track their autonomic nervous system states.
  4. Describe how brain-based strategies in play therapy can reframe trauma experiences, increase self-regulation and co-regulation.
  5. Apply sensory and movement strategies in play therapy to help promote self-regulation and co-regulation.
  6. Describe strategies for engaging children and their parents in play therapy while maintaining a therapeutic environment.


CEs (APT contact hours) will be awarded to those who attend the entire presentation and return an evaluation​.

The Midwest Play Therapy Institute (MPTI) is a continuing education branch of The Counseling Source. The Counseling Source is an Association for Play Therapy (APT) Approved Provider 15-422.

Any CE’s approved by APT are available to graduate level mental health students & licensed mental health practitioners only.

Not for APT Credit

Superheroes and Pop Culture in Therapy for Children and Adolescents DVD

Presented by Sophia Ansari, LPCC

Imagine if kids and adolescents had superpowers to help them overcome their mental health issues. What would their superpowers be? How would you help them use these powers?

Perhaps the notion isn't as unbelievable as it seems. Like many children, our best-known superheroes are often impacted by abuse, divorce, loss, isolation, anger and their accompanying mental health challenges. And like many superheroes, kids who struggle with psychological issues can often harness incredible inner strength. Your clients' "powers" may already lay inside of them waiting to be discovered.

This recording will teach you to find your clients strengths, cultivate and enhance their inner resources, build on their best qualities, improve their resiliency, and help them change their worldview with a fun and engaging therapeutic approach centered around superhero mythology and popular culture!

Learn specific strategies to incorporate the superhero metaphor and the power of story-telling into evidence-based modalities of treatment including: play therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Behavior Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Bibliotherapy. Hands on guidance will give you the tools you need to bring about self-awareness and change with kids facing trauma, anxiety, depression and disruptive behavior problems.

Benefits of Watching:

  • Build trust, security, and emotional vocabulary through the language of superheroes
  • Techniques to promote engagement in the therapeutic process
  • Assessment strategies that help kids identify their strengths and recognize the advocates in their lives
  • Interventions that offer clients a safe psychological distance from traumatic events
  • A framework that encourages young people to open-up about their problems
  • Creative tools for direct and indirect teaching​

To purchase this DVD or link to this recording visit:  PESI


School Safety Summit Play Therapy Workshops!

Earn up to 7 APT (non-contact hours) and NBCC credits from top experts in play therapy right in the comfort of your own home!*

Register at:  ThriveCart

For $137 you get an All Access Pass which will grant you lifetime access to these AMAZING presentations and the best part is… there’s no traveling! You can earn up to 7 APT credits at your own pace, in the comfort of your living room and hear from legendary play therapists like Paris Goodyear-Brown and Dr. David Crenshaw! And Midwest Play Therapy Institute’s very own Sophia Ansari gives a super passionate workshop on utilizing the VIA character strengths in play therapy using superheroes.

Other top mental health and play therapy experts provide workshops on:

  • Working with children with extreme rage that might be at risk for perpetrating gun violence
  • Using play therapy groups in schools to promote kindness
  • And interventions designed for communities dealing with mass grief.

This is a great deal…no travel, top experts, APT credits! Register now! Register at:  ThriveCart

As a BONUS mental health professionals will also receive 6 FREE presentations (these do not qualify for APT or NBCC credits) from top experts in the field like Howard Glasser, creator of the Nurtured Heart Approach. These workshops focus on bullying prevention and the unintended consequences of calming kids. They are designed as educational materials for concerned parents and teachers.

*The passing of a competency-based exam is required to obtain APT and NBCC credit.

Sophia Ansari, LPCC, is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and is the coordinator for the Midwest Play Therapy Institute in Chicago, IL. She has worked with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. She provides workshops on play therapy to mental health professionals and educates parents and teachers on the importance of play as it relates to development and learning in the school setting. She is a passionate research trainer who has bridged her knowledge of neuroscience and creative therapies to provide in-depth, highly experiential trainings at local, state and national events and conferences. Sophia co-hosts Hero Nation, a podcast on the Geek Therapy Network, which celebrates diversity in the media and explores how to use geek culture in therapy. She co-authored the chapter, “Flourishing After the Origin Story: Using Positive Psychology to Explore Well-being in Superheroes and Supervillains” in the book, Using Superheroes and Villains in Counseling and Play Therapy: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals (edited by Lawrence C. Rubin).

Sophia earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Wright State University and her Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Cincinnati.

Check out Sophia's podcast Hero Nation, which celebrates diversity in the media and explores how to use geek culture in therapy.

Hosts: Sophia Ansari and Breck Warren



About Hero Nation:

Hero Nation was created to shed a light on underrepresented communities in comic books, television, movies, and other forms of media. We believe diversity in media matters because at the heart of geekdom is connection. What better way to connect than building an inclusive society where all voices are heard? Stories affect how we see other people and how we see ourselves. Accurate representation of marginalized groups, therefore, is key in helping to break down stereotypes, eradicating the “us vs. them” mentality, and emphasizing the interconnectedness between us all. Hero Nation will offer a platform to stories and characters you may already know or may never have heard of but should know. And since we love psychology we also throw in a little bit of how these stories can be used in a therapeutic context. Join us as we celebrate diversity in the superhero world!

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