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Digital Seminar

The Neurobiology of Play Therapy: A Synergetic Approach

Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S
5 Hours 43 Minutes
Nov 09, 2017
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


Play Therapy Can Do SO MUCH MORE Than We Thought

This workshop provides an exciting and unique opportunity to explore the basic components of play therapy from a neurobiology perspective. You will be introduced to Synergetic Play Therapy, the first research-informed play therapy model to blend together neuroscience, attachment/attunement, therapist authenticity, physics, emotional congruence, nervous system regulation, and mindfulness. Through didactic and experiential teachings, you will learn cutting­edge research on interpersonal neurobiology, mindfulness, nervous system regulation and brain development as the research is translated into practical ways of working with children and parents.

You will discover what it means to attach to one's self as the cornerstone for all healing, the importance of congruent emotional expression in the play room, how to identify types of dysregulation in the playroom, how to model regulating activities to the client, how to talk to and involve parents, and ultimately how to re-pattern a child's nervous system through the play therapy process. Aggressive play will also be covered from the perspective of nervous system regulation, attunement, and mindfulness. Finally, you will also see how to track a client's changes in a simple, yet comprehensive way.



Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S Related seminars and products

Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S, is the founder and President of the Play Therapy Institute of Colorado and the creator of “Synergetic Play Therapy”, a model of play therapy that bridges the gap between neuroscience and psychology. She is the author of Aggression in Play Therapy: A Neurobiological Approach for Integrating Intensity (forthcoming W.W. Norton). Lisa has been in private practice since 2003. Her specialties include working with adoption, trauma, anxiety, and depression. She has extensive experience in school settings, social service departments, foster care and adoption agencies, children’s hospitals and orphanages around the world.  Lisa is adjunct faculty at Naropa University, her alma mater, teaching the child and adolescent courses in their Transpersonal Counseling Psychology Program. 

Lisa is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Registered Play Therapy Supervisor, Certified Gestalt Therapist, Parent Educator, Level II EMDR practitioner, and Senior Certified Facilitator of the Demartini Method™. She is the recipient of the Association for Play Therapy's 2015 Professional Education and Training Award.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Lisa Dion maintains a private practice. She is an adjunct faculty at Naropa University. Ms. Dion receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Lisa Dion is a member of the Association of Play Therapy; and the Colorado Association of Play Therapy.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive) Access never expires for this product.


  1. Describe the importance of understanding neurobiology when working with children in the play therapy setting
  2. Determine how to use neuroscience to support the integration of aggressive play and reduce compassion fatigue in play therapy
  3. Explain the projective process and “The Set Up/The Offering” in Synergetic Play Therapy
  4. Identify the stages that a child moves through in Synergetic Play Therapy
  5. Describe strategies for engaging children and their parents in therapy while maintaining a therapeutic environment
  6. Consider the ethical implications and clinical limitations of using play therapy in clinical practice



  • Reptilian brain
  • Diencephalon
  • Limbic brain
  • Amygdala and 4 threats of the brain
  • Hippocampus
  • Pre-frontal cortex


  • Sympathetic branch
  • Dorsal vagal parasympathetic branch
  • Symptoms in the play therapy and diagnosis
  • Working with aggression in the playroom


  • What regulation is, and isn’t
  • Ventral Vagal Parasympathetic branch
  • The role of the play therapist as the external regulator
  • How to become the external regulator
  • Use of neuroscience to prevent compassion fatigue


  • Exploring projection and “The Set Up/The Offering” in Synergetic Play Therapy
  • Exploring interoception
  • Video demonstrations


  • The stages in Synergetic Play Therapy (SPT)
  • Working with parents
  • Tracking empowerment and integration
  • Video examples

Target Audience

  • Play Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Educators
  • Case Managers
  • Psychiatrists
  • Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors

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