Course Description

Level One is 15.5 hours of  the 37.5 hourFirstPlay Somatic Storytelling® three-part training series. It  provides an introduction to FirstPlay® including the theoretical and research  foundations. (*Formerly known as Kinesthetic Storytelling). 

*NOTE: Level 1 includes 5 Modules.  4 of those 5 Modules are available as stand-alone courses.  Those course are:

1) Intro To FirstPlay Therapy 

2) Attachment Theory in FirstPlay Therapy

3). The Ethics of Touch in Play Therapy

4). Parent and Child Attachment and Assessment

If you have completed all 4 of the courses listed above, please email Jen Taylor at [email protected] to purchase Module 5, which will be the final course needed for you to complete Level 1 of the Somatic Storytelling Series.  Once you have completed that course, you can move directly to Level 2 of the Somatic Storytelling series.  

Level One provides an introduction to FirstPlay® including the theoretical and research  foundations of Developmental Play Therapy, Attachment Theory, Ericksonian- based principles, and Filial Play Therapy, in addition to the neurobiology of touch. You will also learn several assessment tools (art-based and scale) to evaluate for children’s experiences of touch and attachment. Finally, you will  learn and practice several FirstPlay® introductory “Getting Started” somatic interventions that can assist in helping children to become familiar with the experience of “BACK Stories,” while at the same time enhancing the parent-child attachment relationship and emphasizing the importance of respectful touch.

Course includes 15.5 APT Non-contact hours (pre-recorded material).  For those working with APT towards the Registered Play Therapist Credential 6 of the 15.5 hours are in seminal theory and 9.5 hours are in skills and methods.

Certification in FirstPlay Somatic Storytelling: 

To become certified in FirstPlay Somatic Storytelling, the student must first successfully complete the three levels of educational content (37.5 total hours) in the FirstPlay Somatic Storytelling series. 

Upon completion of all three levels of recorded content, the student will contact Dr. Courtney directly to schedule TWO (2) final individual consultation sessions to demonstrate competency in applying the Level 3 course concepts into clinical practice. 

 As presented in the Level 3 materials, you will be asked to use the FirstPlay Somatic Interview Grid with a child to then write and implement a FirstPlay somatic therapeutic story in action. A video recording of the session will be reviewed together in a consultation session with Dr. Courtney. [You can use a volunteer child and family if needed.] The final fee for the two consultation sessions is $250.00 to be paid directly to Dr. Courtney.


Please contact Dr. Courtney at [email protected] for more information and to clarify the final steps toward your Certification as a FirstPlay Somatic Storytelling Practitioner.

Instructor Janet Courtney, PhD, LCSW, RPT-S

Janet Courtney, PhD, LCSW, RPT-S is the Founder of FirstPlay® Therapy and offers a Certification to Practitioners in FirstPlay® Infant Massage & Kinesthetic Storytelling®. Since 1997, she has been an Adjunct Professor at Barry University, Miami, FL where she also obtained her Doctoral degree in Social Work completing a dissertation in Developmental Play Therapy, touch and attachment. She is a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor and past President of the Florida Association for Play Therapy. Dr. Courtney is author/editor of the books Infant Play Therapy: Foundations, Models, Programs and Practice and Healing Child and Family Trauma through Expressive and Play Therapies: Art, Nature, Storytelling, Body, Mindfulness” book. She is co-author of the groundbreaking book, Touch in Child Counseling and Play Therapy: An Ethical and Clinical Guide, and is published in the International Journal of Play Therapy, the Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, and the Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture. Other publications include chapters in the books, Environmental Expressive Therapies: Nature-Assisted Theory and Practice (2017) and in Play-based Interventions for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (2012). Janet’s career has focused on attachment and bonding, and the importance of nurturing touch between parents and their young children. As a wholistic oriented practitioner, she believes in the power of infant massage and joyful “first-play” activities (for example, patty cake and peek-a-boo) as the best start for infant mental health.Dr. Courtney is an internationally recognized play therapist and has been invited to speak on topics of infant and childhood play therapy in England, Ireland, Morocco, Russia, Ukraine, and the Cayman Islands. She has acted as a consultant to several Florida based children’s agencies, and supervises clinicians seeking Florida board licensure, as well as, those seeking Certification as a Registered Play Therapist. Dr. Courtney has developed a new process of storytelling called FirstPlay® Kinesthetic Storytelling® which merges imagery relaxation skills with joyful first-play interactive parent-child activities. Her children’s book, The Magic Rainbow Hug©, makes this technique directly accessible to professionals, parents, and the children who can most benefit from its use.

Course curriculum

    1. FirstPlay Practitioner Manual LEVEL 1

    2. Somatic Storytelling Informed Consent Sample

    1. Welcome Letter

    2. MODULE ONE: FirstPlay® Overview - Description and Learning Objectives

    3. Module One Powerpoint

    4. Module One Video

    1. MODULE TWO: FirstPlay® Therapy Foundations - Description and Learning Objectives

    2. Module Two Powerpoint Part A

    3. Module Two Video Part A

    4. Module Two Powerpoint Part B

    5. Module Two Video Part B

    1. MODULE THREE: Touch, FirstPlay® & Ethics Description & Objectives

    2. Module Three Powerpoint

    3. Module Three Video Session 1

    4. Module Three Video Session 2

    5. Module Three Video Session 3

    1. MODULE FOUR: Parent & Child Touch & Attachment Assessment & other Child Drawing Assessment Interventions - Description & Learning Objectives

    2. Module Four Powerpoint

    3. Module Four Video

About this course

  • $395.00
  • 39 lessons
  • 17.5 hours of video content