Story-Making in the Treatment of Childhood Trauma

Expressive Therapies Summit

New York City

November 8-11, 2012

Registration Begins in July:  Expressive Therapies Summit

Story-Making in the Treatment of Childhood Trauma–November  11th Workshop Description

This is a 3 hour session at the Expressive Therapies Summit. Join bibliotherapist Dr. Sherry Reiter, Director of The Creative Righting Center,  and Dr. Sue Carroll Duffy, psychologist and creator of Moving Stories Play Therapy Method in a workshop that teaches therapists techniques of story extraction, creation and selection to address the wounds of childhood trauma. This workshop explores existing theory and practical methods for therapists to incorporate into their work.

Stories are the ideal therapeutic modality to help children in times of emotional stress and upheaval. First of all, stories and poems help to make meaning and organize the child’s experience. They provide access to the sub-conscious with minimal resistance and maximum comprehension. Stories and poems use the same three psychological mechanisms as dreams: imagery, condensation, and displacement. Whether creating/choosing a story or poem, we are seeking emotional “resonance.”  The story and its themes, if reflective of the child’s inner conflict, work gently and effectively. It serves as a non-threatening reflective mirror and has the potential to provide distance and suggest a resolution.

This workshop provides a theoretical basis for story extraction and construction. We will explore 4 different methods of story-making: the story extraction, the story prescription, the story creation, and Dr. Duffy’s original method called “The Moving Stories Play Therapy Method.” which integrates play therapy, sandtray therapy and storytelling.  All participants will be provided with a packet of stories and bibliography.


1. To provide clinicians and arts therapists with 5 theoretical concepts regarding story as a healing modality.

2. To demonstrate 4 specific methods for use with trauma including an experiential using the Moving Stories Play Therapy Method.

3.  To provide resource materials to participants, including a compendium of stories and bibliography.



Dr. Sherry Reiter, LCSW, PTR-M/S, RDT-BCT, author of Writing Away the Demons: stories of Creative Coping through Transformative Writingis an internationally known speaker and recipient of numerous awards for her innovative work in writing and healing. Voted Teacher of the Year at Touro College in 2009, she is past President of the National Association for Poetry Therapy and The National Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy. At The Creative Righting Center, she directs a two-year training program in poetry therapy for helping professionals, and works with individuals and groups. She is creator of Poets-Behind-Bars and works with marginalized populations.

Dr. Sue Carroll Duffy, Psy.D., RPT-S is a psychologist and Registered Play Therapy Supervisor and Continuing Education provider working at the Pleasant Point Health Center on a  Passamaquoddy reservation in Maine.  She developed the Moving Stories Play Therapy Method and has written numerous therapeutic stories for the sandtray. Dr. Duffy is also founder of By The Sea Seminars which provides in-depth training in the Moving Stories Play Therapy Method and houses the Moving Stories E-Library.  Dr. Duffy served on the Maine Play Therapy Association Board and teaches play therapy for Chesapeake Beach Professional Seminars.