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Aggression in the Playroom – a Synergetic Approach for Working With Trauma and Intensity in Play Therapy

Are your play therapy sessions filled with swords fights, battles, babies dying, handcuffs, you dying, explosions, or other highly intense play? Are you often set up to watch or be a part of play that leaves you feeling nervous, unsafe, overwhelmed, confused or just wanting to run away and hide? If so, you are not alone.

Although aggression and death are a common part of the play therapy process, many therapists don’t have a clear understanding of what to do and how to facilitate the intensity when it enters the playroom during play. The result can lead to inadvertently promoting aggression and increasing low brain disorganization. It can also lead to the therapist feeling beat up, exhausted and hyper-aroused themselves, which can over time significantly impact their longevity in the field, as well as their ability to stay attuned and present to a child in the playroom.

This workshop is designed to help play therapists understand aggression and death play from a neuro-biological perspective and through a Synergetic Play Therapy lense. With the help of neuroscience, therapists will learn how to effectively work with this type of play in a way that supports nervous system regulation and reorganization of the child’s lower centers of the brain while decreasing compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma.

This fun experiential workshop will take you to new possibilities as we explore a science-based process for working with children at the deepest, most profound levels while staying safe and sane. You will learn the art of sword fighting, gunplay, bop bag play, and more while understanding what it takes to maximize growth and integration for your clients and for you as the therapist.