Working with Aggression and Intensity in the Playroom – Lisa Dion


Date: 12 November 2021

Time: 16:00 – 23:00 BST

Location: Live via Zoom or On Demand

Approved for 6 CPD credits

Sold By: Essential Therapy Training


Course Description:

Aggression is a part of play therapy and knowing how to make it therapeutic is often a challenge. Using neuroscience and a Synergetic Play Therapy lense, come learn how to help your child clients work through their aggression and intense play leading to healing and transformation.

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 workshop is designed to help play therapists understand aggression and death play from a neuro-biological perspective and a Synergetic Play Therapy lens. With the help of neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology, 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.

This workshop will take therapists 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 make aggressive play therapeutic while understanding what it takes to maximize growth and integration for their clients and themselves.

Learning Objectives:

After the session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify strategies for maintaining regulation in the midst of intense play, aggression and death in the play room
  • Identify at least 2 strategies for working with aggression in the playroom without experiencing nervous system shut down leading to vicarious trauma
  • Explain the link between a child’s dysregulated states of the nervous system and aggressive and traumatic play
  • Demonstrate at least 2 strategies for setting boundaries without shaming or shutting down a child’s play
  • Define “emotional flooding,” and identify at least 2 strategies to employ when this happens in a play therapy session
  • Examine the Synergetic Play Therapy concept of “The Set Up” in the playroom as a way to understand what the child is trying to communicate

About the Speaker:

Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S, is an international teacher, creator of Synergetic Play Therapy, founder and President of the Synergetic Play Therapy Institute, and host of the Lessons from the Playroom podcast.

She is the author of Aggression in Play Therapy: A Neurobiological Approach for Integrating Intensity and is the 2015 recipient of the Association for Play Therapy’s Professional Education and Training Award of Excellence.


All artistic images reproduced by kind permission of Patricia Fitzgerald of Healing Creations


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