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For children who have experienced trauma, the tools of play therapy - sand, miniatures, art, clay, puppets - create a rich environment for rewiring the brain patterns in ways that can sustain a life of resilience and meaningful relationships. Interpersonal neurobiology tells us that when these are offered within a warm, sustaining relationship, all the ingredients for repairing upset nervous systems and finding the road toward secure attachment are present. Whether we work with little ones, their parents, teens, or adults, our deepening understanding of the brains and minds of our clients and ourselves can enrich our capacity to use play therapy to collaborate with the brain's natural healing processes.
Back by popular demand from 2012 workshop attendees, Dr. Badenoch has designed this advanced workshop to provide us with the opportunity to engage in whole-brained learning and expand knowledge about how these neurobiological processes unfold in play therapy, along with experiences to help us embody our learning. On the first day, we will develop a neurobiologically-based understanding of what trauma is, looking at the developmental pathways of attachment trauma as well as the consequences for the brain of more overt abuse and neglect. The second day will feature an exploration of the multiple states of mind that develop within each person, particularly focusing on the patterns created in traumatic circumstances and how they emerge in play therapy.
Participants will learn how neurobiologically-based understand of trauma in the context of play therapy.
Participants will develop an understanding of the developmental pathways of attachment trauma and apply this understanding to play therapy practice.
Participants will be able to list 3 consequences for the brain of overt trauma and neglect
Participants will be able to describe the multiple states of mind that develop within each person as a result of trauma and how to notice them in play therapy.
Participants will understand brain patterns created in traumatic circumstances.
Participants will understand how the above patterns emerge in play therapy.
Note: Although these two days share a common topic, each day will have its own unique emphasis. While each day will enhance the other, it is possible to register for only one of these two days.
Bonnie Badenoch, PhD, LMFT, is an in-the-trenches therapist and supervisor who
has spent the last seven years integrating and applying the discoveries of neuroscience into the art of therapy. Her years of studying with Daniel J. Siegel and Allan Schore, coupled with her conviction that brain wisdom can transform human relationships led to the publication of Being a Brain-Wise Therapist: A Practical
Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology in the Norton Interpersonal Neurobiology Series in 2008 and The Brain-Savvy Therapist’s Workbook in 2011. Therapists are saying that these books fill the gap between science and practice with clarity, compassion, and
heart. Bonnie currently teaches at Portland State University in the Interpersonal Neurobiology certificate program, and speaks internationally about applying IPNB principles both personally and professionally.
The process of play therapy can be confusing and challenging with children who have experienced significant interpersonal trauma. Play therapists often struggle to understand the meaning of the child's play and question their ability to be effective in helping the child heal. At times, fully and unconditionally accepting these children is a challenge. In this interactive workshop, and from personal case examples, Dr. Bennett will take us on a journey of exploration of the often challenging play therapy process and how an enhanced understanding of the process can facilitate movement and growth, with a focus on 1) conceptualizing the child within the context of relationship trauma, 2) recognizing unique challenges in the therapist-child relationship, 3) understanding and responding to post traumatic play themes, and 4) developing strategies for systemic intervention to facilitate movement and growth.
Participants will learn how to conceptualize the child within the context of relationship trauma.
Participants will be able to recognize unique challenges in the therapist-child relationship.
Participants will understand how to respond to post-traumatic play themes in play therapy.
Mary Morrison Bennett, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC, RPT-S is Associate Professor of Counseling and Director of the Institute for Play Therapy at Texas State University. Dr. Bennett is a Past President of the Texas Association and frequent presenter and author in the area of trauma and play therapy.
DIR/Floor Time is a therapeutic play intervention that helps children impacted by developmental delays, like autism spectrum disorder, to tolerate new emotional experiences as a means of developing brain pathways leading to higher developmental capacities. This workshop will offer an interactive play therapy experience for participants to learn this developmental/relational approach while combing theoretical, conceptual, and practical understanding of the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with developmental delays, interactive disorder and regulatory challenges. Attendees will become family with indications of sensory and processing challenges and learn the DIR model of play techniques used to facilitate optimal development.
Participants will learn the basics of developmental/relational play therapy.
Participants will have an understanding of assessment and treatment with children and adolescents on the autism spectrum and with sensory processing disorders through the developmental/relational play therapy approach.
Participants will learn DIR model of play techniques used to facilitate optimal development.
Esther Hess, Ph.D. is a developmental pediatric psychologist and Executive Director of the Center for the Developing Mind. A respected expert on helping children impacted by developmental delays, Dr. Hess has over 30 years of experience working in child, adolescent, & family therapy.
This workshop will provide participants with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of self int he context of exploring the essence of the healing process in play therapy. The ability to convey warmth, acceptance and empathy to children who have experienced severe trauma in attachment and interpersonal relationships is not about the techniques we use, but how we are able to use the self of the therapist in a relationship that is healing and emotionally corrective. It is through our sensitive attunement to the child that we convey the essence of the healing process in a variety of verbal and non-verbal, conscious and unconscious ways. Examples of the congruent use of the self of the therapist will be explored through stories, clinical examples, and small group discussion.
Participants will learn how to deepen their understanding of self in the context of the healing process of play therapy.
Participants will have an understanding of the use of the therapist’s self in a healing therapeutic relationship.
Participants will understand the congruent use of therapist’s self through stories, examples, and group discussions.
David A. Crenshaw, Ph.D., ABPP, RPT-S is the Director and Founder of the Rhinebeck Child and Family Center, Clinical Director of the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, and Faculty Associate of Johns Hopkins University. He is past President of the New York APT, and author of several books on the topics of play therapy, children, and grief.
Play Therapy is Not Just for Kids: Sandtray with Clients of All Ages
Stephen A. Armstrong, Ph.D., LPC-S, RPT-S
with Vickie Wesley, M.Ed., LPC, RPT, CHST
Based on his seminal text and video, Sandtray Therapy: A Humanistic Approach, Dr. Armstrong presents a theoretically-grounded approach to sandtray therapy that is responsive to the needs of older children, adolescents, and adults. Like play therapy with younger children, this approach allows clients of all ages to create metaphors to express feelings and experiences symbolically rather than rely on words alone. Participants will experience the power of sandtray by creating and processing their own scenes and learn the humanistic approach to sandtray therapy through live demonstration, videos of sandtray sessions with children and adults, and discussion. Participants also will have the opportunity to practice humanistic sandtray therapy skills that facilitate growth and change.
Stephen A. Armstrong, Ph.D., LPC-S, RPT-S is Associate Professor of Counseling at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Dr. Armstrong, author of Sandtray Therapy: A Humanistic Approach, is a popular presenter and trainer known for his highly engaging and experiential workshops that draw on his use of sandtray in his clinical practice with clients and supervisees.
Vickie Wesley, M.Ed., LPC, RPT, CHST is an elementary school counselor at Crandall ISD who has used play therapy and sandtray therapy with children ages 5-12 for the past several years. She has developed a method of using structured and unstructured humanistic sandtray therapy with preadolescents in her current school setting.