Full Course Description
Lesson 1: The Theory and Neuroscience of Childhood Trauma
- Experiential learning through “a child’s language” – sensory, non-verbal and embodied play
- Improve self-regulation, attachments and relational engagement
- Increase the effectiveness of traditional trauma therapies
- Transform your work and enhance the capacity for healthy play among the youngest of trauma survivors
Traumatic events damage children emotionally and psychologically.
Their trauma stays trapped in their body – they feel overwhelmed, they don’t sleep, they’re anxious, depressed, failing in school, angry and socially isolated.
They are completely vulnerable.
How do you as a therapist get to the root of their pain? What do you do when words and language can’t be accessed, when conventional treatments aren’t enough?
Play is a child’s natural way to expose their trauma, formulate their narrative and begin to process the trauma.
Join trauma expert, Dr. Jennifer Lefebre in this experiential, interactive 2-day workshop and learn to speak the language of traumatized children!
- Integrate play therapy with trauma treatment to provide children engaging, developmentally appropriate and empirically validated treatment
- Use essential components of trauma treatment flexibly combined with sensory, non-verbal and embodied play to address interest and advance your work with kids
- Creative and effective treatment strategies to improve self-regulation, attachments and relational engagement, integrate traumatic experiences and build a sense of competence and worth
- Access a clinical framework to incorporate trauma theory, neuroscientific research and play therapy principles
- Increase the capacity for healthy play among the youngest of trauma survivors
Come breathe new life into your trauma treatment with kids!
- Articulate how to help children with complex trauma histories restore their capacity for playfulness and co-regulation.
- Evaluate the fight-or-flight response in children, and learn playful ways to teach children about the brain-body relationship.
- Communicate the neurophysiological theory behind developmental trauma and attachment.
- Contrast diagnostic challenges within this population, and ascertain symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder which can be decreased through embodied play therapy strategies.
- Combine embodied play therapy interventions with evidence-based treatment models for improving emotional and behavioral regulation.
- Pair the core components found within the leading evidence-based trauma treatments (TF-CBT, EMDR, CPP, ARC, TARGET) with play therapy techniques to improve relational engagement.
- Evaluate which trauma informed treatment components “fit” with specific needs of children who have experienced developmental trauma.
- Determine how core components of childcentered play therapy align with best practices for treating childhood trauma.
- Help children heal from trauma through play therapy and evidence-based cognitive strategies.
- Implement play therapy techniques that are consistent with the core components of trauma-informed treatment.
- Develop a treatment plan for introducing play therapy to clients and families in an engaging, fun manner.
- Integrate culturally attuned play therapy strategies into trauma work with children and families.
- Neuroscience of Childhood Trauma Trauma Theory
- Fight-or-Flight (parasympathetic/sympathetic nervous system)
- Attachment Theory
- Complex Trauma
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Reactive Attachment Disorder
- Developmental Trauma Disorder
- A new conceptualization and integrated clinical framework
- Essential Components for Trauma-Informed Treatments
- 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
- Body Based Treatment – Emotional and Behavioral Regulation
- Verbal vs nonverbal responses – how to recognize trauma without verbal report
- Bottom-up versus top-down processing – trauma starts in the body
- Developmental needs of traumatized children
- Embodied play & sensory integration – emotional and behavioral regulation
- Incorporating Play Therapy into Proven Evidence-based Treatments
- Components that “fit” the child’s specific needs
- TF-CBT- Trauma focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- EMDR – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
- CPP – Child Parent Psychotherapy
- ARC – Attachment, Regulation, and Competency
- TARGET – Trauma Adaptive Recovery Group Education Therapy
- Play Therapy Principles
- Therapist establishes a friendly relationship
- Accepts the child as he is
- Creates a permissive relationship; child has freedom of expression
- Validates (acknowledge and reflect) child’s feelings
- Responsibility for decisions and change is left mostly to the child
- Child directs the therapeutic process; therapist follows
- Therapeutic interaction is not rushed
- Limits are set only when necessary for child’s outcomes
- Advancing Trauma Treatment with Play Therapy
- Non-verbal techniques
- Sensory-based techniques
- Culturally and developmentally appropriate techniques
- Play Therapy Strategies and Techniques
- Integration of traumatic experiences to acknowledge and process the trauma: Sandtrays, drawings, & play
- Target shame, self-doubt, and selfcompassion: Sandtray Safeplace & All About Me
- Build an understanding of the brainbody relationship: Flip your lid and Charades
- Target indiscriminate attachments and interpersonal reactivity: Invisible String & Family Sandtray
- Improve emotional and bodily regulation: Stressballs, Be Spaghetti, Feelings Map, Trashballs, Yoga, and Weather Massage
Lesson 2: Trauma Assessment Skills
Lesson 3: Incorporating Play Therapy into Evidence-Based Treatments
Lesson 4: Essential Components of Trauma-Informed Treatments
Lesson 5: Body-Based Treatment — Emotional and Behavioral Regulation
Lesson 6: Integrating Play Therapy — Part 1
Lesson 7: Integrating Play Therapy — Part 2
Lesson 8: Integrating Play Therapy — Part 3
Lesson 9: Integrating Play Therapy — Part 4
The Ethics of Touch in Child Psychotherapy & Play Therapy
There are policies and actions that you can put into practice now to protect yourself.
- What if that simple caring hug you gave a child in a therapy session somehow triggered a report to your licensing board?
- Do you know what to do when a child hits you during a session?
- What about when a child tries to touch you inappropriately?
Dr. Janet Courtney in this engaging webcast explores these ethical considerations of touch including current research, cultural concerns, and the importance of touch to human development. Come away with over 20+ clinical and ethical best practice guidelines! Case examples are highlighted to demonstrate in-the-moment interventions with client populations (infants to teenagers) dealing with issues related to attachment, autism, ADHD, Sensory processing disorder, and physical and sexual abuse.
Get a sneak peek of the seminar:
Visit the PESI blog to learn the 10 types of touch identified by Dr. Janet Courtney that can happen during therapy if deemed developmentally appropriate.
- State 10 different types of touch that can occur in a therapy session.
- Demonstrate four ways to evaluate for a child’s psychosocial experiences related to touch.
- Describe how to apply 5 therapeutic interventions to handle in-the-moment ethical dilemmas in a play therapy session.
The Ethics of Touch in Context
- Clinical concerns of touch in child psychotherapy and play therapy
- No touch policies-more harm than good?
- Types of touch: greeting, accidental, task-oriented, attentional, and more
Assessment for Psychosocial Experiences of Touch
- 4 Child Drawing Assessments
- Rating scale questionnaires
- Parent’s perceptions of child’s touch experiences
- Teacher Touch Observation Rating Scale for child
Interventions and Case Examples: Ethical dilemmas of Touch- Responses, Interventions and Boundary Setting
- Risk/benefit decision making
- Child hits/slaps therapist
- Inappropriate touching of therapist
- Child asks to be touched inappropriately
- Child asks for appropriate touch
- Specific populations
- Infants-behavioral cue indications
- Attachment Disorders
- Autism/Sensory Processing Disorders
- Sexually traumatized children
- 10+ Recommendations for working with abused children
- Engaging parents in problem touch occurrences
20+ Top Ethical Touch Best Practice Guidelines
- Practitioner Touch Awareness Questionnaire
- Informed Consent-for therapy approaches that use touch
- Informed Consent-Mandated Reporter of all forms of abuse
- Unethical Forms of Touch
- And many more…
Bonus: Trauma Defined: Bessel van der Kolk on The Body Keeps the Score
Researchers are increasingly finding that the body is the key to trauma treatment. Trauma is about the body becoming immobilized, feeling helpless or numb. Often traumatized people either don’t feel their body at all, or they feel it all the time.
In this compelling one-hour discussion, world’s leading trauma researcher and author of the The Body Keeps the Score, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk discusses his research and the influences on his life work with trauma. During the hour, he succinctly and descriptively draws the picture of trauma, the brain, and how various treatments work (and don’t) on the trauma client.
This hour will leave you, and those with whom you share this information, with the best understanding on the nature of trauma, its impact on the brain, how our brains work and most of all, the important new treatments that promise hope to those suffering from PTSD and trauma.
Bessel has spent 40 years working with and learning from traumatized clients. In this video, he shares insight into a bold new paradigm for healing from trauma. You won’t want to miss this personal account of Dr. van der Kolk’s work.
The Latest Clinical Research Surrounding:
- The impact of trauma on brain activity
- Neurofeedback, EMDR and “body work” on symptom reduction
- The effectiveness of movement, mindfulness and theater activities in trauma treatment
- Explain how trauma influences the activity of the key areas of the brain and how that dictates behavior patterns.
- Articulate the clinical research surrounding the effectiveness of yoga, mindfulness meditation, and theater in healing trauma in clients.
Bonus: Overcoming Trauma-Related Shame and Self-Loathing with Janina Fisher, Ph.D.
Shame has an insidious impact on our traumatized clients’ ability to find relief and perspective even with good treatment. Feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy interfere with taking in positive experiences, leaving only hopelessness. This 60-minute recording was webcast live from the office of Dr. Janina Fisher and introduces shame from a neurobiological perspective—as a survival strategy driving somatic responses of automatic obedience and total submission.
Learn to help clients relate to their symptoms with curiosity rather than automatic acceptance, discriminate the cognitive, emotional, and physiological components of shame, and to integrate somatic as well as traditional psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral techniques to transform shame-related stuckness.
- Discriminate the clinical implications of physiological and cognitive contributors to shame.
- Describe cognitive-behavioral, ego state, and psychoeducational interventions to address shame in clinical practice.
The Neurobiology of Shame
Shame’s Evolutionary Purpose
- The role of shame in traumatic experience
- Shame as an animal defense survival response
- Effects of shame on autonomic arousal
Making Meaning of Shame
- Shame and the attachment system
- Rupture and repair in attachment formation
Working from the “Bottom Up”
- Feelings of disgust, degradation, and humiliation are interpreted as “who I am”
- Cognition and the body
- Internal working models predict the future and determine our actions
A New Relationship to the Shame: Acceptance and Compassion
- The role of procedural learning and memory
- Physiological effects of mindful dual awareness
- Using mindfulness-based techniques to inhibit self-judgment
The Social Engagement System and the Healing of Shame
- Re-contextualizing shame as a younger self or part
- Bringing our adult capacity to our childhood vulnerability
- Healing shame through compassionate acceptance
- Social engagement and the ventral vagal system (Porges)
- The incompatibility of shame and social engagement
- The therapist’s own social engagement system as a healing agent