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Digital Seminar

The Healing Power of Play Therapy: Advance Your Trauma Treatment with Children & Adolescent

Jennifer Lefebre, PsyD, RPT-S
6 Hours 25 Minutes
Dec 12, 2018
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


Millions of traumatic events each year damage children emotionally and physiologically leaving them overwhelmed, unable to sleep, anxious, depressed, failing in school, angry and socially isolated. If left untreated, a child’s developmental trajectory can be compromised.

How do you as a professional get to the root of their pain?

What do you do when words and language can’t be accessed, when conventional interventions aren’t enough?

Watch trauma expert and play therapy supervisor, Dr. Jennifer Lefebre, in this experiential, interactive recording that will give you creative play therapy techniques and effective trauma-informed treatment strategies and interventions that are:

  • Child-centered
  • Playful
  • Developmentally appropriate
  • Culturally sensitive

Integrate play therapy principles into the work you do with children in schools and therapeutic environments. Through the power of play, you can help children explore their traumatic memories, learn to manage experiences that are overwhelming, and formulate their narrative to process their trauma.

Walk away with play therapy strategies to improve a child’s ability to self-regulate while building their sense of competence and worth, furthering their abilities to relate with others and within their environments!



Jennifer Lefebre, PsyD, RPT-S's Profile

Jennifer Lefebre, PsyD, RPT-S Related seminars and products

Jennifer Lefebre, PsyD, RPT-S, is a clinical psychologist, registered play therapist supervisor, and trauma-sensitive yoga facilitator. She is the president-elect for the New England Association for Play Therapy. Her clinical and research interests focus on the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, adults and families whose lives have been impacted by complex trauma. Dr. Lefebre has extensive experience working with young children (0-5), adult survivors of severe childhood abuse and neglect, first responders, and combat veterans.

Dr. Lefebre is the clinical director at Healing the Child Within, a holistic trauma center in northwestern Connecticut which integrates psychotherapy, yoga, play, and expressive arts therapies into the treatment of complex trauma. She also provides clinical supervision and play therapy consultation throughout New England and online, and an adjunct faculty member at several universities, teaching both at the undergraduate and graduate level. In addition to being an experienced play therapist and professor, Dr. Lefebre is a sought-after expert for speaking engagements, podcasts and webinars on the topics of play therapy and complex childhood trauma.


Speaker Disclosures: 

Financial:  Jennifer Lefebre is in private practice. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial:  Jennifer Lefebre is a member of the Association of Play Therapy.


Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  1. Articulate how to help children with complex trauma histories restore their capacity for playfulness and co-regulation.
  2. Evaluate the fight-or-flight response in children, and through play therapy techniques to teach children about the brain-body relationship.
  3. Evaluate which trauma-informed treatment components and play therapy techniques “fit” with the specific needs of children who have experienced developmental trauma.
  4. Implement play therapy techniques that are consistent with the core components of trauma-informed treatment.
  5. Develop trauma-informed goals and objectives based in play therapy theory to heal children and help them be available to learn.
  6. Determine how the standards of child-centered play therapy align with best practices for treating childhood trauma.


Neuroscience of Trauma and Attachment
  • Trauma & Attachment Theory
    • Regulatory processing, executive functioning, memory and language
  • The Neuroscience of Play Therapy
    • What Play Does for You and Your Brain, and
    • What Happens to You if You Don’t Play
  • Neuroscience and Fight-or-Flight
    • Parasympathetic / sympathetic nervous system
  • Trauma and Stress Disorders
    • Classification, symptoms & labels
  • Current Evidence-Based Treatment
    • Where are we stuck?

​​​A New Clinical Framework – Integrating Evidenced Based Treatment with Play Therapy

  • Establishing safety and a sense of competence/worth
  • Appropriate attachments & relational engagement
  • Self-regulation (body & emotions)
  • Self-reflection & Introspection
  • Integration of Traumatic Experiences
  • (Acknowledgment & Processing of the trauma)
  • Future safety
  • Transitioning beyond the Trauma
Advancing Trauma Treatment with Play Therapy
  • Verbal vs Nonverbal responses
    • How to recognize trauma without a verbal report
  • Bottom-up versus Top-down processing
    • Embodied play & sensory integration rather than verbal strategies
  • Non-directive versus directive play therapy techniques - How to integrate both
    • Widen the window of tolerance through up-regulating and down-regulating using embodied therapy activities
Play Therapy Activities
  • Psychoeducation of brain-body relationship
    • Charades
    • Flip your Lid
  • Target shame, self-doubt, and self-compassion
    • Safe place sandtrays
    • Drawings
    • All About Me
  • Integrate traumatic experiences to acknowledge and process the trauma
    • Narrative work through sandtrays
    • Drawings
    • Dramatic play
  • Target the parent-child relationship – Interpersonal reactivity and social skills
    • Weather Massage
    • Invisible String
    • Family Sandtrays
    • Drawings
  • Improve emotional and bodily regulation
    • Be Spaghetti
    • Trashballs
    • Oobleck
    • Feelings Maps
    • Yoga
    • Floor is Lava & more!

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Play Therapists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Occupational Therapist

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