Ann Beckley-Forest

Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Registered Play Therapist
  • Experienced trainer for my fellow clinicians in the areas of play therapy and trauma treatment in the USA and Asia, including at the 2016 EMDRIA conference, and coming up at the 2018 EMDRIA conference
  • Clinical social worker in private practice -- specializing in treatment of children and trauma survivors of all ages
  • A Registered Play Therapist and Play Therapy Supervisor as well as an Approved Provider of Play Therapy Education through the Association For Play Therapy
  • Certified in EMDR Therapy, an evidence-based treatment for trauma, and an Approved Consultant for EMDRIA and assistant trainer for EMDR
  • Faculty member of the Child Trauma Institute
  • Published on the topic of play therapy and EMDR integration in the September 2015 issue of Play Therapy and the March 2019 issue of Go With That
  • Adjunct instructor in the Counseling Department at Canisius College, Spring 2018

What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy is a systematic approach to providing psychotherapy to children in a developmentally sensitive way through the use of play and toys. My approach to play therapy is drawn from many aspects of the play therapy tradition along the continuum from purely child-centered play to directive game-based approaches. I believe in tailoring the play therapy approach to the needs of the child and the stage of treatment. My play therapy is inspired by the work of the traditional founders of play therapy such as Gary Landreth, as well as more prescriptive approaches advocated by Eliana Gil, Joyce Mills, Helen Benedict and Paris Goodyear-Brown. I have also been trained in Theraplay and use game-based learning in building attachment capacity in many of my clients.

Why Play Therapy Training?

My goal is to present both foundational and advanced skills for fellow clinicians which are the same kinds of trainings I like to attend – experiential as well as theoretical, research-informed and based on real life case material. In particular my goal is to help therapists develop a comprehensive approach to their child clients which is trauma-informed and developmentally sensitive.

What is EMDR Therapy? How Does it Fit with Play Therapy?

EMDR Therapy is an evidence–based psychotherapy which is based on the healing of past traumatic and adverse experiences as the path to improved mental health. I became an EMDR therapist to help my clients to heal from trauma, and I am able to use EMDR therapy to benefit clients of all ages, including children. I am actively involved in developing an integrated model for Play Therapy and EMDR therapy, and published on this topic in Play Therapy magazine in 2015 and EMDRIA's Go With That magazine in 2019. I'm happy to be co-facilitating trainings around the country in this area with my colleague, EMDR trainer, Annie Monaco.

"I really enjoyed this foundations
workshop.  It has got me excited about learning more about play therapy and am excited to use what I learned here."

October 2017 participant

"This was the best training I have
been to in a while!"

October 2017 participant

"Excellent presenter and very
knowledgeable case presentations. This was a workshop I will apply to my practice regularly."

January 2017 participant