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Lisa will be the keynote speaker for this year’s California Play Therapy Conference.

Aggression and Death in the Playroom: A neurobiological approach for integrating extreme energy in play therapy 

Are your play therapy sessions filled with swords fights, death, handcuffs, explosions, or other highly intense play? Do you find yourself feeling nervous, unsafe, overwhelmed, confused or just wanting to run away and hide? This workshop will take you to new possibilities as we use neuroscience to help us integrate extreme play in the play room without having our own nervous systems shut down.


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 play room.

This 6 hour keynote workshop is designed to help play therapists understand aggression and death play from a neuro-biological perspective and 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, reorganization of the child’s lower centers of the brain and decreases compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma.

Therapists will be taken to new possibilities as they explore a science based process for working with children at the deepest, most profound levels while staying safe and sane. They will learn how to integrate extreme energy in the play, while understanding what it takes to maximize growth and integration for their clients and for themselves as the therapist.

  1. Understand how to facilitate aggressive play in the play therapy process without increasing or promoting aggression
  2. Learn how to keep yourself regulated in the midst of intense play/trauma play and death in the play room
  3. Understand the link between a child’s dys-regulated states of their nervous system and their play
  4. Participants will learn the importance of authenticity and congruent emotional expressions as an integral part of helping deepen the child’s experience during the play.
  5. Understand “The Set Up” in Synergetic Play Therapy and the significance of this in navigating the play therapy process

Registration details coming soon…..