Exploring Identity, Meaning, and Play in Therapy

One of the tasks of the therapists is to help people clarify meaning in life and to identify fulfilling and valued personal life and therapy goals. One of the difficulties of this task is that we are not always clear about who we are, what our strengths are, and what gives meaning to our life. Genuine life goals reflect our sense of self, and what we see as valuable and meaningful. Before we can identify therapy goals we need to grasp a keen sense of ourselves, our strengths and purpose.

In this half-day workshop we will examine theories of meaning-making and identity, and explore approaches to helping our clients clarify their sense of self and related life and therapy goals. As part of this process of discovery, we will highlight the importance of play as a means of gaining reflective insight and direction. Human beings have a profound need to play throughout life but often forget to give time to the energising practice of play. To discover meaning and ongoing direction it is essential that we provide space for playful reflection.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

• Identify key elements involved in meaning-making

• Reflect on what gives purpose and meaning to life and to the lives of others

• Explore strategies that helps clients identify salient life and therapy goals

• Experiment with approaches to enabling clients’ playful reflection and insight


• The workshop combines research, theoretical input, practical exercises, and small and large group discussion.

• The workshop is appropriate for training and practising counsellors, psychotherapists, counselling psychologists, and other mental health professionals.

About the Presenter

Professor of Denis O’Hara is a well-known Australia academic and practitioner. He has a background in education, counselling, and psychology and is currently Professor of Counselling and Psychotherapy at the Australian College of Applied Psychology and Director of the Hope Research and Practice Institute. Professor O’Hara has researched extensively in the areas of hope studies and psychotherapeutic change, among other topics, and has published widely. He has written several books on the significance of hope in therapeutic change. He is an experienced teacher and presenter and enjoys providing professional development.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Workshops
Duration Delivery Mode Pricing Start Dates Location Availability

4 hours
Venue: Australian College of Applied Psychology
Ground Floor, East Tower
410 Ann St
Brisbane, Qld 4000
Time: 10:30am - 3:00pm

On-site Workshop $70


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