CARLA SHARP, Retired A.P.R.N. in Child Psychiatric Nursing,

Retired R.P.T.-S., Retired C.S.T.-T.

Using The Build A House Technique To Assess Family Functioning in a

50 Minute Play Session


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In this video interview, Carla Sharp discusses the development of her Build A House technique for assessing family functioning in family play therapy sessions.  She explains how clinicians can begin using this technique with families and how to make observations about the elements in the house that will provide insight into family roles, communication patterns, and overall functioning. 


1. Participants will learn a simple play therapy technique called Build A House to use in the assessment of family functioning in play therapy sessions. 

2. Participants will learn why assessing the family system during play therapy sessions is vital to understanding the child. 

3. Participants will learn how the process of building a house in play sessions will reveal communication patterns, parenting style and sibling/parent relationship patterns. 

4. Participants will learn how the actual house build during a play session will say a lot about the family system. 

SPEAKER BIO - Carla Sharp

Carla Sharp, Retired APRN

Carla Sharp is a retired Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, retired Registered Play Therapist Supervisor and a retired Certified Sandplay Therapist-Teacher living in Kailua, Hawaii. She graduated from University of California, San Francisco, in 1973, where she was trained in play therapy.

In 1985 she created a play therapy technique to assess child and family functioning. It is being used by professional counselors and psychotherapists around the U.S., Canada and Hong Kong. This technique requires only 50 minutes, wooden building blocks, a variety of toys and an observant clinician. Both the process and content of this unique assessment tool allow all aspects of family functioning to be revealed. It is highly recommended for all clinicians who work therapeutically with families.



 1 Hour Non-Contact Credit Is Available For This Course With The Purchase Of The All Access Pass

(All Access Pass Purchase Offer Comes Immediately After Summit Registration!)

20 Total Hours of Credit Available As Part of the All Access Pass.  See terms here. 

**Play Therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals**

Summit Founder and Hostess:  Jennifer Taylor, LCSW, RPT-S

For questions or comments about this event, email

Jennifer has nearly 20 years experience working with children and families.  She is currently licensed in Florida, Tennessee, and Hawaii.  She is EMDR Trained and TF-CBT Certified.  

She is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Memphis and has presented at multiple national conferences.  Jennifer provides play therapy case consultation, supervision and training (APT Approved Provider 12-331).  

Oh, and she also has three children under the age of 4 and a pretty fantastic husband!