Skip to main content
Digital Seminar

Applying Polyvagal Theory to Your Play Therapy Practice for Safety, Connection & Healing

Jackie Flynn, EdS, LMHC-S, RPT
1 Hour 31 Minutes
Audio and Video
May 11, 2022
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


The brain-body connection inherent in trauma is often challenging for us as adults…and applying this knowledge can be overwhelming, especially in a child-friendly way! How can we as therapists more effectively help children and families find their way back to safety, connection, and healing…decreasing acting-out behaviours and withdrawal, while increasing social engagement?

In this session, Jackie Flynn, expert in child and family trauma, will dive into the creative integration and application of Play Therapy and the Polyvagal Theory.  You’ll learn practical, robust, evidence-based play therapy interventions while exploring the neuroscience of communication, emotional wellness, and social relationships.  

Through an integrative framework, this recording will show you:

  • Foundational concepts of Polyvagal theory and best practices when integrating the neuroscience of Play Therapy
  • Trauma's role in the aetiology of childhood dysregulation…and the importance of neurobiology in creating a felt sense of safety
  • The unique ways the autonomic nervous system impacts children's capacity to manage stress, express themselves, regulate emotional states, and navigate relationships
  • How the Therapeutic Powers of Play create a deeper knowledge of the brain-body connection
  • You’ll gain ready-to-use Play Therapy techniques and explore the power of practical and playful applications of the Polyvagal Theory!


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This program is worth 1.75 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Jackie Flynn, EdS, LMHC-S, RPT's Profile

Jackie Flynn, EdS, LMHC-S, RPT Related seminars and products

Jackie Flynn, EdS, LMHC-S, RPT, is a licensed psychotherapist, registered play therapist, certified EMDR therapist, EMDR consultant, and a certified Safe and Sound Protocol provider. She hosts Play Therapy Community®, where clinicians gather together from around the world to share resources and inspire each other. As a co-host of the Neuroscience of Play Therapy and Playful EMDR Summit, as well as the founder of EMDR and Play Therapy Integration Support, she supports countless clinicians internationally learning about the power of PLAY through training and consultation.  


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Jaqueline Flynn is the founder of Play Therapy Community and maintains a private practice. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Jaqueline Flynn is a member of the Association for Play Therapy (APT) and EMDR International Association (EMDRIA).


  1. Analyze the neuroscience of emotions, communication, and the social engagement system, successfully integrating them with play therapy and the therapeutic powers of play.
  2. Apply 5 or more play therapy techniques as they relate to perception, interoception, and neuroception.
  3. Investigate the functions of the three states of the Autonomic Nervous System, formulating how understanding neurobiology is necessary for the treatment of children with complex trauma histories.
  4. Demonstrate 5 or more play therapy techniques to increase children's capacity to manage stress, express themselves, regulate emotional states, and navigate relationships.


Polyvagal Theory & Neuroscience of Developmental Trauma
  • Foundational Concepts of Polyvagal Theory
  • Neuroscience of emotions, communication, and the social engagement system
  • Perception, interoception, and neuroception
  • Impact of trauma and its role in the aetiology in childhood dysregulation
  • Stress response patterns as survival strategies
  • The three states of the Autonomic Nervous System and its impact on a child's capacity to
    • Manage stress
    • Express themselves
    • Regulate emotional states
    • Navigate relationships
Harnessing the Power of Play Therapy
  • Foundational Concepts of Play Therapy
  • Neuroscience of Play and best practices when integrating Polyvagal Theory
  • The importance of neurobiology in creating a felt sense of safety
  • The Therapeutic  Powers of Play
    • Fostering emotional wellness
    • Facilitate communication
    • Enhance social relationships
    • Increase personal strengths
  • The brain-body connection through the Therapeutic Powers of Play
Integrating & Applying Polyvagal Play Therapy
  • Play therapy strategies, skills, and modalities for the practical application of Polyvagal theory
    • Autonomic Nervous System Mapping
    • Rigidity – Chaos Continuum
    • Accessing the social engagement system in aggressive situations
    • Increasing attunement via Mirroring Game, Mimes, Ball Toss, and more!
    • Widen the window of tolerance between parent and child through peek-a-boo, hide-and-seek, and more!
    • Strengthen connection and dual awareness with nature play therapy, movement, and more!
    • Co-regulate and increase the positive effects of social engagement through expressive arts and more!

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Mental Health Clinicians
  • Play Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • School Counselors
  • Social Workers

Please wait ...

Back to Top