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Would you like to learn a model of therapy, supported by brain research that supports EMDR therapy with children? Would you love to have a solid understanding of how to seamlessly bring in both therapies to address and resolve deeply held trauma? In this workshop, therapists will have a one of kind experience exploring the basic components of play therapy from a neurobiology perspective as they get introduced to Synergetic Play Therapy and learn how it applies to the EMDR process with children. Through didactic and experiential teachings, participants will learn cutting-edge research on neural anatomy, mindfulness, attachment theory and brain development as the research is translated into practical ways of working with children and parents. Participants will gain an understanding of the Adaptive Information Processing Model (AIP) in EMDR as it relates to Synergetic Play Therapy.

About the Training…

Participants will also learn what it means to attach to one’s self as the cornerstone for all healing, the importance of congruent emotional expression in the play room, how to identify types of dysregulation in the playroom, how to model regulating activities to the client, how to talk to and involve parents and ultimately how to re-pattern a child’s nervous system through the play therapy process. Aggressive play will also be covered from the perspective of nervous system regulation, attunement, and mindfulness. Finally, participants will also learn how to track a client’s changes in a simple, yet comprehensive way.

This is a three-day workshop with group consultation for four months following (Group consultation is 3-4 people per group for either 1.5 or 2 hours depending on how many participants).

Location: Play Therapy Institute of Colorado

Cost: $675.00 or $435.00 for SPT Trained Therapists (includes credits)

Credits: 18 Contact Hours

Dates: Feburary 8-10


  • 9:00a.m.-Noon
  • Noon-1:30p.m. lunch
  • 1:30p.m.-4:30p.m.


  1. Understand the link between a child’s dysregulated states of their nervous system and their play;
  2. Understand the significance of authenticity and authentic expression in the play therapy process;
  3. Understand how our own “windows of tolerance” can impact the healing process;
  4. Illustrate an understanding of the neurobiology of co-regulation as related to EMDR therapy and working with children in play therapy;
  5. Learn how to keep yourself regulated in the midst of intense play/trauma play and while facilitating EMDR in the playroom;
  6. Be able to describe the stages that a child moves through in Synergetic Play Therapy;
  7. Be able to describe the importance of attachment to one’s self and mindfulness in a play therapy process;
  8. Learn how to track a child’s progress in the play therapy process;
  9. Discuss at least two considerations about why and when you would modify the standard EMDR protocol and how this would impact other phases of treatment in the play therapy process;
  10. Learn how to integrate EMDR into a non-directive play therapy process;
  11. Discuss at least two considerations for when you would use a directive EMDR approach versus a non-directive EMDR approach with a child.

Workshop Requirements:

Completion of EMDRIA approved EMDR Basic Training, and clinical work experience using play therapy with children.

Workshop Presenters:

Lisa DionLisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S, is an innovative and inspiring teacher and pioneer in play therapy. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Play Therapy Institute of Colorado and creator of “Synergetic Play Therapy,” a model of play therapy bridging the gap between neuroscience and psychology. Lisa teaches and supervises globally, helping transform the lives of thousands of therapists and children. She is the only person in the world who is a Senior Certified Demartini Method Facilitator® and a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor. Lisa has been using EMDR with children since 2006.

Her training and understanding of how the mind and a person’s biology drives human behavior allows her to offer her child and adult clients a unique perspective and understanding on how to maximize their potential and develop a greater appreciation for themselves and the people in their lives. Lisa is dedicated to advancing the play therapy field worldwide through her teachings, books and research. Her first book, Integrating Extremes: Aggression and Death in the Playroom, is already being referred to as “groundbreaking.” Lisa was the recipient of the Association for Play Therapy’s 2015 Professional Education and Training Award.

Jan Schaad, LCSW, has many years of clinical experience working with addictions and compulsive behavior patterns, including alcohol and other drugs, sex, food, and gambling.  Her experience includes clinical work in inpatient and outpatient settings, working both with the individual and family system. In addition, she has designed clinical programs for the treatment of addiction and been involved in strengthening community supports for addiction recovery. Jan has been on the faculty for the International Winter Symposium on Addictive Disorders and Mental Health for many years.  She currently has a private clinical practice in Cheyenne, WY, provides clinical consultation to therapists in EMDR, and volunteers with the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Program.