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Play Therapy with the Brain and Body in Mind: A Polyvagal Approach

October 20, 2023 @ 9:00 am 4:30 pm

This workshop will dive into Polyvagal theory and how it can be used in play therapy with all ages of clients. Play therapy techniques of movement, mindfulness, music, expressive arts, and sandtray will be taught via lecture and experiential activities. Participants will get hands on experience so they can easily use these skills right away with clients.

At the conclusion of the program, participants will be able to:

  • Define the three organizing principles of Polyvagal theory and understand how to apply these with clients in play therapy.
  • Describe what ventral vagal, sympathetic, and dorsal vagal responses are and identify when these are happening in play therapy sessions.
  • Recognize the vagal brake and learn at least two playful strategies to apply the vagal brake in play therapy sessions.
  • Create a personal profile autonomic map to understand how their own nervous system works and how to use this information to co-regulate in play therapy sessions.
  • Utilize at least six multi-sensory activities in play therapy sessions to help kids and caregivers learn to regulate their emotions.
  • Employ questions for caregivers and clients that will shed light on treatment planning in play therapy using a polyvagal approach.


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