To say that we’re excited for this conversation is an understatement because today’s topic is in the top three of the most requested topics since this podcast’s inception. We’ve been waiting for the perfect person to educate us on this topic, and there is no one better than Dr. Jodi Mullen to help us explore, understand, and make sense of a child’s sexualized play. 

Dr. Jodi Ann Mullen, PhD LMHC NCC RPT-S CCPT-Master, is a professor at SUNY Oswego in the Counseling & Psychological Services Department and the coordinator of the Graduate Certificate Program in Play Therapy. She is the Director of Integrative Counseling Services, with several offices in Central New York.  Jodi is an international speaker, author, credentialed play therapist and play therapy supervisor.  She has 30 years in the field of counseling (… impressive!) and has authored books on play therapy, counseling children and adolescents, grief counseling and parenting. 

Listen to this incredibly helpful and connecting conversation that will help you feel more prepared when you have a child show up on your caseload who has been sexually abused or demonstrates sexualized play: 

  • How to trust your felt sense as the clinician when sexualized play shows up in the session;
  • Some of the red flags and themes that may indicate sexualized play (… and how understanding transference and countertransference give clues to what is happening for the client);
  • How to discern medical trauma vs. sexualized trauma;
  • How aggression shows up for children with sexualized trauma and what the behavior really means for these children;
  • How to talk to parents or caregivers when you expect trauma or abuse; and
  • The single most important thing we can do for our client that promotes deep healing, especially when justice is not possible. 

This is a wonderfully helpful podcast that will leave you thinking wow, wow, wow! Jodi not only gives so many examples to help us understand sexualized trauma play, but gives us all the contextual and complex pieces of this type of therapeutic work with children. 

And if you want to learn more about the mindset of a sexual perpetrator (… so important when we’re doing this work as play therapists), check out Jodi’s self-study course here!

Podcast Resources: 

Click above, listen here on Apple Podcasts, or subscribe to the podcast here!