• 2845 Wilderness Place, Suite 208, Boulder, CO 80301
  • (720)458-9597 ext 2

Intro to Synergetic Play Therapy™

Registration for fall opens May 1

"This training helped me build security, confidence and trust in what I am doing with children in the playroom.” - Brittany Redman

Have you ever felt lost or confused about what is happening in the playroom? Do you wonder if you are making a difference or helping the child heal in the most effective way possible? In our Online Introduction to Synergetic Play Therapy course, we’ll explore what exactly is happening in the play therapy process, how change happens and ultimately what it takes to help children heal at profound levels. You will finish this online course understanding exactly how the "magic" happens in the playroom.

Join us as we take our popular Introduction to Synergetic Play Therapy class online! The course starts in October and goes through March. 

Cost: Choice to pay per month: Professional | $165 x 6 = $990 total or Student | $140 x 6 = $840 total OR Choice to pay in full: Professional | $ 900 or  Student | $750 (A  $90.00 discount!!) 

Credit Hours: 

Total 24 CE credits* (9 Contact and 15 Non-Direct Contact)

Prerequisite Training:
  • Participants should have completed or be enrolled in a Master’s Degree program in counseling, social work, or education. 
  • Previous experience working with children and families is required.
  • A basic understanding of play therapy and play therapy skills is required.

Objectives by class:

Class 1 – Welcome to SPT:

  • Understand how Synergetic Play Therapy was inspired, the basics, the tenets, the history, and the main play therapy influences
  • Understand how children use the projective process in play therapy to set the toys and the therapist up to feel how they feel
  • Begin to understand the significance of why authenticity is so important in the playroom.

Class 2 – It’s Nervous System Time!:

  • Understand the link between nervous system states and the symptoms that show up in the playroom
  • Understand the importance of regulation in the playroom
  • Understand how the therapist can begin to model regulation to the child so that the child can begin to learn how to regulate.

Class 3 – Integrating the Data:

  • Understand what regulation is and isn’t according to Synergetic Play Therapy
  • Understand what it means to “overcome a challenge” in the play therapy process

Class 4 – Parents, Parents, Parents:

  • Understand that parents are going through a grief process when they bring their children to play therapy
  • Understand how to have a successful play therapy intake
  • Understand the importance of setting goals and speaking in terms of what is important to the parent

Class 5 – Attachment & the Self Object:

  • Understand Synergetic Play Therapy’s definition and perspective on attachment
  • Understand how to use the self object as a way to support the client attaching to self

Class 6 – Aggression, Sand & Art:

  • Understand how to use regulation as a way to help integrate aggressive energy in the playroom
  • Understand how to facilitate the use of sand from a Synergetic Play Therapy perspective in the playroom
  • Understand how to facilitate the use of art from a Synergetic Play Therapy perspective in the playroom

After each class, you will be asked to take a quiz and rate the objectives.

How will this online course work? The course runs six months and includes a mix of three, one-hour LIVE webinars with Lisa Dion, six 2.5-hour recorded video courses and monthly 60-minute consultations with an SPT Supervisor/Consultant to help you integrate what you are learning. Once you register, you will receive class instructions for access to the webinars, class recordings and your monthly consultation. If you are interested in APT-Approved CE credits, you will have the opportunity to print out a certificate after watching each recording after taking a short quiz.

“Lisa has taught me to be a whole person-mind, body and spirit. I experience a deeper level of connection and trust than ever before with myself, my clients and in my personal relationships. I contribute much of that to the work I have done with Lisa! Thank you, Lisa!” -Jordan Yost, MA

Why take this course over other play therapy or counseling courses? We teach you the biology behind your child client’s symptoms in the playroom. You’ll learn about the significance of nervous system regulation. And more specifically, about the symptoms that arise in the playroom and what that has to do with the nervous system and brain. And once you know what’s going on with the child, we’ll teach you how to re-pattern their nervous system. You will learn about attachment, attunement and emotional congruence in ways that you've probably never heard before.  Plus, we'll teach you how to regulate yourself so you have greater access to your own capacity and so you don’t get hurt, allowing you to stay engaged and inspired in your work.   

What makes Synergetic Play Therapy different? Synergetic Play Therapy will take you on a journey to deeply understand yourself. With an emphasis on therapist authenticity, SPT is designed to help therapists birth their authentic selves so that they can help their child clients do the same.  SPT recognizes that therapist authenticity and attunement in the playroom is integral to the healing of the child.

SPT also takes cutting edge information from interpersonal neurobiology, mindfulness, attachment theory and physics and blends them together in a way that allows therapists to go right to the heart of the struggle and help the child transform from the inside out. If you have ever felt that something was missing in your work or that there was another layer that you could get to or a deepening in yourself that you want to reach, SPT has some answers and a pathway to get there. (Learn more about Authenticity in the Playroom).

Who is this model not for? Synergetic Play Therapy is not for people who are looking for step-by-step techniques or a script. It's for therapists that truly want to understand how play therapy works and are willing to dive deeply into themselves to discover the profound role they can play in a child's healing and what they can do to facilitate it.  

In what ways will this course help alleviate the burnout I’m feeling? Often, the intense experiences therapists have in the playroom adversely affect our lives. Over time the nervous system starts to shut down because it’s too much to handle. You begin to numb out. And your capacity to stay in this field diminishes pretty quickly. In Synergetic Play Therapy, we teach you mindfulness of your body to help you become more aware of your reactions. You’ll learn how to be authentic in the playroom, thus encouraging your child clients to be more authentic; and you’ll better understand how to regulate your nervous system and then model that to your child clients.

What are other benefits I’ll get out of taking this course? It’s APT Approved, so you can get 18 continuing education credits. If you decide that you love Synergetic Play Therapy, this course also meets the prerequisite requirement you need to take the Synergetic Play Therapy Certification program. Learn more about the class now here!

*Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S, APT Approved Provider 09-264

Six-Day Synergetic Play Therapy Intensive

"Seldom have play therapists concentrated on lower brain symptomatology of hyperarousal, affective regulation or physical modulation of impulses. These are all symptoms characteristically suggestive of low brain disorganization (brainstem and diencephalon regions) and all common autonomic symptoms of severe trauma exposure,” -van der Kolk, 2006.

    We based this training on “Synergetic Play Therapy," a cutting-edge model of play therapy. We designed the course to introduce play therapists to pertinent information on brain development, the projective process, affect attunement attachment and nervous system regulation that impacts the children in the play therapy room. Specific attention will be given to interventions that are designed to repattern the disorganization in the lower brain centers, areas that are often unaddressed in many current play therapy models.  

    When therapists become centered, they can facilitate collaborative communication, thus creating a synergy between themselves and the child. “Such communication allows for the creation of brain connections that are vital for the development of a child’s capacity for self regulation,” says Mindsight Institute Executive Director, Dr. Dan Siegel, M.D.

    Join one of our regularly-held, six-day intensive for Masters-level therapists and clinicians. Jump in and really experience the magic of Synergetic Play Therapy! For availability and registration details, please contact the Institute at 720-458-9597, or email info@playtherapycolorado.com.

    The Training:

    "Wow! I learned so much. I was held in such a safe place to discover my authentic self in the playroom which I’m so grateful for. The support and encouragement has helped me reconnect to my body, sensations and intuition. Thank you!"  -Stephanie Trudeaux

    PTIC’s Lead Teacher, Kathryn Clarke, LPC, RPT-S, leads this course, along with other Senior SPT Teachers and Supervisors. We limit this Play Therapy Training Program to four people in order to permit extensive skill practice with individualized coaching and feedback. Each participant will be paired with a child client, with whom they will work every day during the training, under direct supervision as part of a therapeutic observation team.

    Training Schedule: 9-6 p.m. each day at the Play Therapy Institute of Colorado in Boulder, Colo.

    Cost: $1750, with a $500 deposit

    Credits: Total 49 CE credits* (includes supervision, direct contact and education)

    2018 Dates: 

    1.        January 26-28 & February 2-4

    2.        March 9-11 & 16-18

    3.        June 16-18 & 20-22

    4.        July 6-8 & 10-12 (one day break in the middle)

    5.        August 4-10 (one day break in the middle)

    6.        September 28-30 & October 5-7

    7.        November 2-4 and 9-11


    Prerequisite Training

    • Participants should have completed or be enrolled in a Master’s Degree program in counseling, social work, or education. 
    • Previous experience working with children and families is also required.

    Training Objectives

    • Be able to facilitate the broadening of a child's emotional window of tolerance and self-regulation by utilizing mindfulness and self-awareness in the playroom.
    • Understand how the therapist’s authenticity and attunement supports the attachment process in play therapy
    • Understand ways that a play therapist can model to the child ways to regulate himself in a play therapy session.
    • Understand the neuroscience behind identifying a child's state of dys-regulation and how the child uses play therapy to re-pattern his nervous system.

    Training Methods

    This Play Therapy Training Program is limited to four people to permit extensive skill practice with individualized coaching and feedback. Each participant will be paired with a child client, with whom they will work every day during the training under direct supervision as part of a therapeutic observation team.

    Participants will be required to:

    • Attend all six days of the training- 49 hours total
    • Complete eight videotaped play therapy experiences with client
    • Review all eight videotaped play therapy experiences with instructor
    • Observe a minimum of 12 play therapy experiences with other intensive participants
    • Attend all didactic and play therapy instruction sessions
    • Attend and participate in daily group supervision
    • Communicate with the child client’s parents/guardians daily
    • Complete all required paperwork- intake, treatment plan, case notes, termination, etc.

    Please contact the Play Therapy Institute of Colorado at 720-458-9597 or email info@playtherapycolorado.com for availability and registration instructions

    *Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S, APT Approved Provider 09-264

    Synergetic Play Therapy Internship

    Every year a handful of interns are selected to spend a year training at the Play Therapy Institute of Colorado.  During the year, interns will have the opportunity to work directly with children and families, run children's groups and offer parenting support while receiving weekly supervision.  Interns will also get to participate in the Introduction to Synergetic Play Therapy course as part of their experience at the Institute.  

    Applications are accepted every January and interviews begin in February.  Interns start their year in August. 

    For more information on how to apply, please contact Kathy Clarke at the Play Therapy Institute of Colorado.

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