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

Essential Play Therapy Classes with a Synergetic Play Therapy™ lens

The essential play therapy classes with a Synergetic Play Therapy™ lens are offered throughout the year at the Play Therapy Institute of Colorado, state and national conferences and through webinars. Please check our calendar for upcoming workshops or contact the Institute directly by clicking Here.

PTIC Annual Conference: Play Therapy Foundations with a Synergetic Twist

Join us for this exciting four day event offered every June aimed at the foundational workshops needed for every Play Therapist. Whether a beginner or advanced practitioner, these workshops will inspire you and help take your play therapy knowledge to a whole new level. These classes are not an introduction to Synergetic Play Therapy (SPT), but rather core classes infused with Synergetic principles. To learn more about Synergetic Play Therapy, visit the web-site at www.synergeticplaytherapy.com 

Participants can attend all or as many classes as you would like.  Please check the June calendar for full workshop details and registration information.

"This conference helped build security, confidence and trust in what I am doing with children in the play room."

"The experiential aspect of this conference brought to life what we were learning and helped me integrate it into my own skill set.  I have a deeper appreciation for the client's process, as well as my own with the permission for the shared experience."


Partnering with Parents- (6 hours)

This workshop is designed to help play therapists understand the important role that parents play in the play therapy process. How to explain the process to parents, how to keep them engaged in the process, how to understand ways to meet their needs while working with their child, and how to get them engage in a team approach will be explored.

Growing Up in Play Therapy- (6 hours)

Join us as we go back in time and re-visit the early developmental stages of human development and how it impacts the play therapy process. Learn to recognize each stage within your child client and yourself. Case studies, videos and experiential exercises will be used to integrate this information into the play therapy process.

Sand in Play Therapy- (6 hours)

A workshop that unravels the mystery of sand in the play therapy room. We will explore the healing power of this modality in ways that will help you better facilitate your client's process. This workshop will teach you both a directive Gestalt Play Therapy approach and non-directive Synergetic Play Therapy approach.

Art in Play Therapy- (6 hours)

A workshop that unravels the mystery of art in the play therapy room. We will explore the healing power of this modality in ways that will help you better facilitate your client's process. This workshop will teach you both a directive Gestalt Play Therapy approach and non-directive Synergetic Play Therapy approach. Understanding the developmental stages of art will also be explored.

Art of Self-Compassion - (3 hours)

Play Therapy is not just play, it is hard work and over time it can take a toll on our nervous system and levels of fatigue. We will learn strategies that promote self resilience, neural integration and how to turn challenging experiences in the playroom into sources of power and self awareness.

Perceptions of Trauma- (6 hours)

Ever wonder why experience of trauma create different life paths? In this highly experiential workshop we will explore children's perceptions of trauma and look at strategies to promote resilience, regulation and neural integration in the play therapy process.

The Art of Dying: Understanding Aggressive Play in Play Therapy- (3 hours)

Aggression and death are a part of play therapy, but how they relate to neuro-biology and how to make them therapeutic is the real skill. Learn the art of sword, gun and bop bag play from a brain-based perspective.

The Therapist’s Presence, Mindfulness and Self-Awareness in Play Therapy- (6 hours)

This 6 hour workshop will explore the impact that the play therapist’s presence has on their child client, the family and the play therapy process. A look into neuro-biology will help us understand what really is going on when we are present and mindful with our clients. Come prepared to experience yourself and the play therapy process in a new and more profound way.

There is a Hole in My Heart: Understanding Adoption in Play Therapy – (3 or 6 hours)

Come learn about the unique challenges that many adopted and foster care children present in the play room. A special emphasis will be given to how to work with attachment, neuro-biological process such as regulation and dys-regulation, and affect attunement in the play therapy process. Play Therapy with international adoptions will also be covered.

The Therapist’s Brain- (3 or 6 hours)

Play Therapists spend so much time thinking about what is going on in the child's brain, but do we really understand what is happening in our brains when we are in a play therapy session? A deep exploration of the development of the therapist's brain, along with an understanding of how the therapist's brain impacts the child's brain is explored. Come learn about your brain in a way that will help you be more present, more authentic, more congruent, and more impactful with your play therapy clients.

The Biology of Play Therapy (6 hours)

This workshop is designed to help play therapists understand why Play Therapy works from a biological and neurological perspective. We will explore the projective process in play therapy, its impact on the brain and the nervous system, and how children can use Synergetic Play Therapy to integrate their perceptions and regulate themselves.

Intro to Synergetic Play Therapy™


"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 October 20th, 2017 at 11a.m. (MST) with a Live Webinar with Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S, and it runs through March 16th, 2018. 

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 18 CE credit (3 Contact and 15 Non-Direct Contact)

For  more information about the specifics of the course, please visit the Play Therapy Institute of Colorado Website by clicking here.

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 30-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.


    • February 16th, 2018: One-hour LIVE Webinar (11a.m. MST) & 1st video course released
    • March 16th, 2018: 2nd video course released
    • April 20th, 2018: 3rd video course released
    • May 14th, 2018:  One-hour LIVE Webinar (11a.m. MST)
    • May 18th, 2018: 4th video course released
    • June 15th, 2018: 5th video course released
    • July 20th, 2018: One-hour LIVE Webinar (11a.m. MST) & 6th/final video course released

“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!

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 new and 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, teachers 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 9-15 (one day break in the middle) 

    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

    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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