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Digital Seminar

Attachment Ruptures and Repair in Children & Adolescents

Attachments are not easily made by those who experience disrupted early attachments, and typically only develop after significant struggle, ambivalence, and taking tentative steps towards connection - as not to alienate.   

Of course, the other side of the coin is that once making such hard-earned connections, giving them up at termination is another significant therapeutic challenge (Gil & Crenshaw, 2017). 

Join David Crenshaw, PhD, RPT-S, as he teaches you how to… 

  • Use an invitational approach to attachment trauma in youth
  • The Concept of Relational Trauma (Allan Schore, 2012) and its contribution to potential cumulative deprivation throughout life
  • Adopt Stealth Therapy in work with these reluctant youth
  • Plan for and work through the Crisis of Connection 
  • Utilize the analogy of Fawns in Gorilla Suits in therapeutic work with youth and caregivers, teachers, and families
  • Prepare for and work through grief and loss issues at termination 


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David Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S |  Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S
1 Hour 32 Minutes
May 06, 2021
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Digital Seminar - Also available: DVD
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Continuing Professional Development Certificates - PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 1.75 hours CPD.



David Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S's Profile

David Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S Related seminars and products

Children's Home of Poughkeepsie

David A. Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S, is Clinical Director of the Children's Home of Poughkeepsie. He is Past-President of the New York Association for Play Therapy, a Board-Certified Clinical Psychologist; a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a Fellow of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychology, a Fellow of the Academy of Clinical Psychology, and a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor. He was honored with the Excellence in Psychology Award in 2009 and has received two Lifetime Achievement Awards: in 2012 by the Hudson Valley Psychological Association, and in 2018 by the NY Association for Play Therapy. He is the author/editor/co-editor of 17 books, over 100 book chapters, and journal articles on child aggression, play therapy and child trauma, his latest books co-edited with Cathy Malchiodi are What to Do When Children Clam-Up in Psychotherapy and a book co-written with Eliana Gil titled Termination Challenges in Child Psychotherapy.


Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: David Crenshaw is the founder and director of Rhinebeck Child and Family Center, LLC. He is the clinical director at Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie. Dr. Crenshaw receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: David Crenshaw is a member of the American Psychological Association; and the New York Association for Play Therapy.

Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S's Profile

Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S Related seminars and products

Clair Mellenthin LLC

Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S, is an international speaker, author, psychologist, and Registered Play Therapist Supervisor. Throughout her career, she has specialized in providing play therapy to children, teens, and their families. She is currently the Director of Child & Adolescents at Wasatch Family Therapy. Ms. Mellenthin frequently presents professional play therapy and family therapy trainings on Attachment-Centered Play Therapy, Family, and Trauma issues both nationally and internationally.

Ms. Mellenthin is a sought-after supervisor, training graduate students and interns in play therapy, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern California MSW program. She is the past-president of the Utah Association for Play Therapy and remains an active member on the Board of Directors. She is the author of the books Attachment Centered Play Therapy; Play Therapy: Engaging & Powerful Techniques for the Treatment of Childhood Disorders; My Many Colors of Me Workbookand has authored several chapters and articles. In addition to being an experienced play therapist and professor, Ms. Mellenthin also appears on local and national TV and radio as an expert on children and family issues. She holds a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern California.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Clair Mellenthin is the clinical director at Wasatch Family Therapy. She is the author of My Many Colors of Me Workbook; she maintains intellectual property rights and receives royalties. Ms. Mellenthin receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Clair Mellenthin is the president of the Utah Association for Play Therapy.

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  1. Analyze the concept of relational trauma.
  2. Distinguish the link between interpersonal trauma and attachment wounds.
  3. Determine 3 ways the "Crisis of Connection" can manifest in the course of therapy.
  4. Utilize the analogy of “fawns in gorilla suits” and three ways it can be used in therapy with youth and family.
  5. Determine three unique challenges of termination with youth experiencing attachment trauma.


  • Interpersonal Trauma and its Impact on Attachments
  • Intrusion – if needed, distance is not required
  • Stealth Therapy – therapy without calling it therapy
  • Crisis of connection – therapeutic relationship threatens closeness
  • Fawns in Gorilla Suits – vulnerability and protection
  • Termination challenges
  • Grief – longing for the missed attachment
  • Case Study: 2 sisters, ages 5 and 11 confronting attachment trauma in early life

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social workers
  • Psychologists
  • Marriage & family therapists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech-language pathologists


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Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to: PO Box 1000, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1000 or email

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