Course Description

Using mainstream media as the metaphor, this 3 hour training will explore the psychology behind superheroes, analyze the latest research and will discuss how to use these metaphors in the counseling setting and in play therapy. We will cover evidence-based practices including: play therapy, ACT, CBT, bibliotherapy and more. We will establish how comic book narratives and a client’s love for a certain character can promote engagement to overcome depression, anxiety, trauma, grief/loss, and maladaptive behaviors. 

Learning objectives: 

1) Participants will analyze the latest research on the use of the pop culture metaphor in clinical practice and communicate the impact of this in mental health practice and play therapy.

2) Participants will establish how to identify strengths and foster the therapeutic alliance in play therapy using the client’s passion for a particular mainsteam media.

3)The participants will review case conceptualizations, treatment plans and interventions us ing popular-culture references such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Disney and Anime/Manga, Dungeons and Dragons and Minecraft and in play therapy. 

4) Participants will articulate how video games can be used therapeutically in play therapy, and the pros and cons of technology in the playroom. 


Ragan Snyder-Smith, LSCSW RPT-S

Ragan graduated from Wichita State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Master's degree in Social Work and a Master's degree in Education. She received her Play Therapy Certification from Heartland Play Therapy and is a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor. Ragan has worked in addictions, foster care and adoptions, private practice, medical social work and psychiatric social work. . She has worked in early childhood, elementary, middle, high school and at an alternative high school setting. She also works part-time for a local non-profit for children with special needs as a Behavior Consultant and also teaches Crisis Intervention classes. Ragan is passionate about school mental health, play therapy and social justice. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, mindfulness, reading, running, yoga & healthy living.Ragan has presented Lego-based play therapy around the country for play therapists and mental health professionals.  APT credits available as listed in the course description are provided by Ragan Snyder-Smith, LCSW, RPT-S, APT Approved Provider 19-588.  Play therapy credit available to mental health professionals only as listed in each course description. Courses that do not qualify for play therapy credit are clearly listed.  NBCC credits, when available are provided by Jennifer Taylor. Jennifer Taylor has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider ACEP No. 6928. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly marked. Jennifer Taylor is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Course curriculum