top of page


All professionals working with children and adolescents are invited to attend!

2022 PA APT Conference: Text
Lisa Dion picture.jpg


2022 PA APT Conference: Who We Are

Aggression and death are a part of play therapy, but how they relate to neuro-biology and how to make them therapeutic is the real skill. Learn the art of sword, gun, and aggressive play from a brain based perspective.

ABSTRACT: Although aggression and death are a common part of the play therapy process, many therapists don’t have a clear understanding of what to do and how to facilitate the intensity when it enters the playroom during play.  The result can lead to inadvertently promoting aggression and increasing low brain disorganization.  It can also lead to the therapist feeling beat up, exhausted and hyper-aroused themselves, which can over time significantly impact their longevity in the field, as well as their ability to stay attuned and present to a child in the play room.

This workshop is designed to help play therapists understand aggression and death play from a neuro-biological perspective and a Synergetic Play Therapy lens.   With the help of neuroscience and theoretical basis in relational therapy, therapists will learn how to effectively work with this type of play in a way that supports nervous system regulation, reorganization of the child’s lower centers of the brain and decreases compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. 

This fun experiential workshop will take therapists to new possibilities as they explore a science based process for working with children at the deepest, most profound levels while staying safe and sane.  They will learn how to make aggressive play therapeutic while understanding what it takes to maximize growth and integration for their clients and themselves.

Learning Objectives:

1. Examine  how play therapy works from a neurobiological perspective

2. Recognize the significance of congruence and authentic expression in the play therapy process

3. Identify strategies for  maintaining regulation  in the midst of intense   play/trauma play and death in the play room

4. Identify at least 2 strategies for working with aggression and trauma in the playroom without experiencing  nervous system shut down leading to vicarious trauma

5. Explain the link between a child’s dysregulated states of the nervous system and the aggressive and traumatic play

6. Describe how a therapist's  “window of tolerance” can impact the child’s healing process

7. Practice facilitating aggressive play in the play therapy process without increasing or promoting aggression

8. Examine the Synergetic Play Therapy concept of “The Set Up” in the playroom, with examples

9. Demonstrate at least 2 strategies for setting boundaries without shaming or shutting down a child’s play

10. Explain what it takes to become the “external regulator” in the playroom to support nervous system integration

11. Define "emotional flooding," and identify at least 2 strategies to employ when this happens in a play therapy session

2022 PA APT Conference: Text
2022 PA APT Conference: Video

Lisa is the Founder and President of Synergetic Play Therapy Institute. She is an international teacher, the creator of Synergetic Play Therapy, host of the Lessons from the Play Room podcast and webinar series, and author of Aggression in Play Therapy: A Neurobiological Approach for Integrating Intensity (2018).

2022 PA APT Conference: Text
bottom of page