I haven't watched one episode of Marie Kondo, but I am aware of her methods on tidying up and decluttering your physical environment.  

For those of you who are not familiar, her advice is to: 

Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.  Marie Kondo

And with that thought in mind, I have decided that there are some things in my life that are no longer sparking joy.

I would like to officially thank them for their service and let them go.

Summit Courses (ALL OF THEM)

Thank you to all of the presenters that took a chance on me during the 2017 Play Therapy Summit and the 2018 School Safety Summit.  We did something that had never been done before.  Not everyone liked it, but a lot of people did.

And, it brought me great joy to do it.  The relationships that have been forged with presenters and with consumers of the Summit continue to bring me great joy and I am forever grateful for that experience.

However, the maintenance of the courses themselves no longer "sparks joy,".  There are many changes coming to the play therapy world in regards to online and in-person play therapy trainings.  And I'm afraid that the Summit courses are unlikely to fit into those changes. 

So, I am going to retire the Summit courses...all of them.  Meaning, they are no longer for sale for play therapy credit. 

Whew. It's out there. 

Now, to address any questions you might have. 

What if I haven't finished my Summit courses?

Those of you who purchased the 2017 Play Therapy Summit and/or the School Safety Summit were promised lifetime access to the material.

You will continue to have access to the material as promised. However, I was never able to promise lifetime access to the CE credits.  

If you need APT/NBCC credit,  my encouragement is to FINISH those courses ASAP! You will have until March 1, 2020 (1 year from now) to complete these courses for credit.

Just like the people who are struggling with decluttering, I am struggling with how to clear out this digital space while still helping those of you who need credit.  

But, like those pants in your closet that you never wear, it's time to move on. Either use it or let it go. 

Put a circle on your calendar for March 1, 2020.  If you need credit for a Summit course, take your quiz before then. 

I should have made the courses time-limited.  This would have helped make this process easier. But the saying "you don't know what you don't know" applies to me here.  I never expected to have this problem because I didn't think that it would be this popular. 

Summit Course Library Available

If you missed out on the Summit courses, I have decided instead to offer them as an information only library.  I still believe that the information has value.  And so, you can purchase access to the videos (no APT/NBCC credits) here at a deeply discounted rate.  

There are no completion certificates.  This is available to my international friends who missed out on the courses due to the conversion rates.  

Making Room for What Does 'Spark Joy'

In cleaning out this space, I am making room for some new projects that do spark joy.

I can't say exactly what those projects are yet...because I am still in the process of dreaming something up.

I hope that you are not disappointed in me. And I hope that you will stick around to see what comes next.  But if not, I understand.  And I thank you for the time that you did spend with me. 

**By the way, all of the great content that you receive on my website from Lynn Louise Wonders is not going anywhere. In fact, Lynn Louise Wonders has a bunch of new content coming that you're not going to want to miss.  

Also, I have an exciting new online training that will be announced very soon from another play therapy leader.  

So, thank you for the love and the support.  

In the comments below, share anything in your life that you need to let go of, even though it's really hard. I'd love to hear from you! 

Why a white daisy?

Apparently, when people  are asked to draw a flower, the first one that comes to mind for a majority of people is the daisy shape.   This single flower (just the flower part without the stem or any leaves and on a solid black background) was show to study participants after being shown a high-arousal negative image. Examples of high-arousal negative images include awful things like violence, injuries and car crashes.  Two trials were conducted:  in the first subjects were shown a high arousal image and then either a) the flower image b) a mosaic of fragments of the flower image or c) a visual fixation point.  In the second trial, the high arousal image was followed by either a) the flower image, b) a chair (deemed a neutral image) or c) a blue sky with clouds (deemed a positive non-floral image).   Systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings were taken throughout the experiments.  

As expected, mean blood pressure was lower when participants viewed the flower versus the fixation point or the mosaic flower,  but what was unexpected is that the flower image actually reduced mean blood pressure to a level lower than the baseline.  Both the flower image and the blue sky had a similar positive impact in changing mood from negative to positive (with the blue sky having the most overall impact).  However, only the flower (not the sky) caused a reduction in mean blood pressure.  It was determined that viewing a simple flower image could in fact change a negative mood into a more positive one and also decrease blood pressure. 

The power of the single flower image was then studied in regards to salivary cortisol levels.  During this study, the high-arousal images were once again paired with the flower image, the flower fragment mosaic or the fixation point.  Once again, only the flower image was shown to significantly decrease stress during the recovery phase. One final examination looked at fMRI images of the brain during these conditions.  Through this imagery it was discovered that the flower image was effective in decreasing the amygdala-hippocampus activation that occurred after viewing the high arousal images. Researchers speculated that the flower image was a distraction tool that was helped prevent the recall of the stressful images.  

The brief viewing of this single flower image was shown to be effective at reducing negative emotions and created better functioning of both the cardiovascular and endocrine systems! Having such a simple tool available to help reduce stress and regulate unpleasant emotions and is one possible tool for interrupting ruminating thoughts or unpleasant flashbacks.  

About the Author Jen Taylor

Jennifer Taylor, LCSW, RPT is an experienced child and family therapist and public speaker who specializes in trauma, ADHD, and conduct problems. Discover more about her diverse clinical background and family. Reach out to Jennifer with questions or comments by emailing at info@jentaylorplaytherapy.com

Jennifer Taylor, LCSW, RPT is an experienced child and family therapist and public speaker who specializes in trauma, ADHD, and conduct problems. Discover more about her diverse clinical background and family. Reach out to Jennifer with questions or comments by emailing at info@jentaylorplaytherapy.com

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