Joyce Mills, PhD

Keynote: The Spirit of Healing with Children: Reawakening Resiliency Pathways Within

In our world often challenged by societal neglect, man-made and natural disasters, and an overall sense of "emotional poverty,"Dr. Joyce Mills will discuss how we can help children, families, and communities reconnect to what she calls "that delicate magic of life." Through her gift of storytelling, Dr. Mills offers us restorative approaches to reawaken the innate resiliency-pathways inherent within the children with whom we work.

Additionally, after living through the worst natural disaster to hit the island of Kaua'i Hawaii in the last century, Dr. Mills shares the Ericksonian focused model of Natural Community Healing she developed in response to the needs of the children, families, and community. This model was adapted into the development of two programs for the children, families, firefighters, frontline workers, and police who were most effected by 9/11.

The Cultural Magic of StoryPlay®: Restorative Steppingstones for Working with Challenging and Traumatized Children, Adolescents, and Communities.

Since "Play is the language of children, and Creativity is the language of Play", this talk will focus upon the Foundations of StoryPlay®, a new Ericksonian indirective model of play therapy founded by Dr. Joyce Mills. This resiliency- focused model weaves together elements of story, metaphor, creativity, expressive arts, and play to form a unique and proven method of play therapy to effect positive change, healing, and problem-solving for those who have experienced trauma, grief, disaster or loss. StoryPlay®, derives its theoretical foundations from the principles of Milton H. Erickson, Indigenous wisdom teachings, cultural diversity and the innovative approaches of Dr. Mills, which are highlighted in her books: the award winning Therapeutic Metaphors for Children and the Child Within and Reconnecting to the Magic of Life translated into French and Portuguese.

Joyce Mills, PhD, registered Play Therapy Supervisor, founder of the StoryPlay® Center and Co-director of the Phoenix Institute of Ericksonian Therapy, Joyce is an internationally recognized trainer speaker, consultant, and program development specialist, author of eight books, including the award-winning Therapeutic Metaphors for Children and the Child Within and Reconnecting to the Magic of Life