Trauma Focused Integrated Play Therapy
The goal of this workshop is to provide participants with a working knowledge of an integrated model well-anchored in trauma theory and informed by current scientific knowledge as well as research. Trauma-Focused Integrated Play Therapy is relationship-based and utilizes principles of child-centered play therapy in order to 1) allow children to self-direct; 2) give children an experience of control and mastery; and 3) permit children to access natural healing mechanisms such as post-trauma play. By giving children opportunities to work in a permissive setting, clinicians observe and document how children utilize gradual exposure, gain an understanding of traumatic experiences, discharge affect, and begin to manage experiences that can feel overwhelming or frightening. This trauma-anchored model integrates directive strategies as needed, deepens metaphor work by amplifying the child’s ability to explore the material they externalize, and provides children with a safe, predictable environment for processing interpersonal trauma. This model values children’s pacing, respects defensive strategies, and seeks to help children build alternative skills to cope with difficult thoughts, emotions, or behaviors.