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Digital Seminar

Play Therapy for Young Children: Innovative Attachment-Based Interventions to Treat Behavioral and Sensory Challenges

Tammi Van Hollander, LCSW, RPT-S™
6 Hours 20 Minutes
Feb 20, 2019
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Digital Seminar
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Brain development is the most rapid in the first three years of life, and play therapy is integral in promoting healthy child development and sustaining the parent/child attachment.

This recording is filled with appropriate, fun, play-based interventions to rewire the brain and create a sense of trust and safety in the infant and young child’s world. Through play, children learn how to interact with the world around them, communicate and negotiate with others, discover emotions and empathy, ignite their imagination and creativity, boost resilience and self-esteem, and much, much more!

This recording will give you a clear understanding of attachment theory and child development, help you decipher the differences between developmental age and chronological age and most importantly, understand kids and the way they play.

Play therapy theories and techniques will include: Client-centered play therapy – Cognitive-behavioral play therapy – Developmental play therapy – Family play therapy - Theraplay®.

Through videos, case studies and hands-on directive play-based activities, you’ll increase your confidence to work with this young population and gain strategies for:

  • Sensory Processing Challenges
  • Aggressive Behaviors
  • Anxiety/OCD/Perfectionism
  • Trauma/Grief
  • Co-regulation
  • Sleep Issues
  • Enuresis
  • and more!

Children are sensory learners and play is a full sensory experience where children become engaged and make sense of the world around them.

Play will inspire and give you the tools to promote healthy development and attachment!


- 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 online program is worth 6.25 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Tammi Van Hollander, LCSW, RPT-S™'s Profile

Tammi Van Hollander, LCSW, RPT-S™ Related seminars and products

Main Line Play Therapy

Tammi Van Hollander, LCSW, RPT-S, is a licensed clinical social worker and registered play therapist-supervisor™. She is the owner of Main Line Play Therapy: An Expressive Therapy Center in Bryn Mawr, PA. Tammi is an international speaker, play advocate and founding board member of The World Association for Sand Therapy Professionals. She is an Advanced Certified Trainer for the Nurtured Heart Approach®, a certified FirstPlay® practitioner, trained in level one Theraplay® and EMDR. Her work and creative interventions in the field of play therapy and Sandtray therapy have been published and internationally recognized. She specializes in attachment, Sandtray play therapy & sensory integration working with children, families, and adults of all ages. Tammi is the author of an attachment-based multisensory story titled Casey’s Greatness Wings: Teaching Mindfulness, Connection and Courage to Children and creator of Greatness Sticks and Greatness Cards. For more information on Tammi’s publications work, visit her website at


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Tammi Van Hollander is the owner of Main Line Therapy, LLC. and has employment relationships with the Expressive Arts Therapies and the Mid-Atlantic Play Therapy Institute. She receives royalties as a published author. Tammi Van Hollander receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Tammi Van Hollander is a member of the Association for Play Therapy and the National Association for Social Workers. She is a board member of the World Association for Sand Therapy Professionals and a program committee chair for the Specialists of Schools.


  1. Demonstrate at least 3 ways play therapy assessments are useful for setting therapeutic goals and treatment planning for your clients.
  2. Design 4 ways play therapy techniques can be used to form healthy attachments, attunement, and regulation in the children you work with.
  3. Build confidence in understanding and treating behaviors of infants and young children through play therapy.
  4. Determine 3 ways sandtray play therapy can quiet a child’s nervous system when dealing with sensitive issues.
  5. Devise the skills that are needed to teach parents and caregivers how to play with their child and how to make it a part of their daily routine.
  6. Characterize how play therapy can reframe trauma experiences, increase self-regulation and connect to a mind/body awareness.
  7. Assess the importance and ethical issues of therapeutic touch when implementing play therapy.


Introduction: Ice breaker activity

Building Healthy Relationships: Attachment Theories
  • Video on neuroscience of attachment and the brain
  • Mary Ainsworth: 4 types of attachment styles
  • Bolby Attachment Theory
  • Video of Still Face experiment
  • Group activity
Infant & Child Development Theory
  • Maternal mental health
  • Freud, Erikson, Piaget and Mahler
  • Video: marshmallow test with children ages 3-5
Why Play?
  • Evidence supporting benefit of play
  • Therapeutic powers of play
  • Group activity
Play Therapy
  • Getting started
  • Therapeutic benefit
  • Limitations & potential risks
  • Assessment and treatment
    • What is the need behind the behavior?
    • What does the behavior tell us?
    • What are the skills behind the behavior?
Engaging Children in Play
  • Neurobiology of play
  • Repair of developmental trauma
  • Tools for self-regulation
  • What is needed for a play therapy room: the basics
  • From intake to termination
  • An ongoing process
Creative Play Therapy Interventions for:
  • Sensory
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Sensory Processing D/O
  • Enuresis
  • Trauma/Grief
  • Nightmare/Sleep Disorders
  • Hyperactivity
  • Divorce
Play Therapy and Techniques
  • Non-directive play
    • Client-centered play therapy
    • Sandtray
    • Art & music
    • Dolls and dollhouse
    • Case study and video
Developmental Play Therapy Ethical Issues of Therapeutic Touch
  • Intro to Dr. Courtney’s FirstPlay® Kinesthethic Storytelling Infant Massage®
  • FirstPlay® - Demonstration with baby dolls
  • Becky Baily: Baby doll groups and “I love you rituals”
  • Developmentally-appropriate songs and games
Directive Techniques
  • Fun with Feathers
  • Puppet play
  • 6 Senses Safe Place
  • Superpowers
  • Fun with Food
  • Bubble Tennis
  • Pooh/Inside-Out Feelings
  • Favorite books and interventions
  • Casey’s Greatness Wings
  • Greatness Sticks®
  • Sandtray Interventions
  • Mindful Freeze Dance
  • Wiggle out the sillies
  • Sandtray play therapy

Case Studies will be shared throughout the workshop when introducing interventions to participants, so you will get real life examples of the therapeutic value of my most beloved play therapy interventions I use with young children.

Group Activity: creative reflection exercise

Final Community Activity

Target Audience

  • Play Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Educators
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Speech-Language Pathologists

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