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Play Therapy through the Scientific Lens of Interpersonal Neurobiology

11 January 2017 @ 9:30 am - 13 January 2017 @ 5:00 pm HKT


Accredited Play Therapy Training (Total 18 accredited hours)

Using the lens of Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB), we will explore ideas that have the potential for enhancing a variety of play therapy modalities such as puppet play, art making, sand tray, Lego Serious Play, and playing with clay. Viewing these modalities through this lens provides a science-informed foundation that helps clinicians explain how and why they use play for healing purposes. During these three days participants will have opportunities to discuss, study a clinical case, explore, ask questions, and use hands-on experiences to bring the concepts of IPNB alive in practical ways.



This training will focus on the applications of IPNB to play therapy, including the following concepts: (1) working at the regulatory edges of the window of tolerance, (2) the play circuitry in the brain as introduced by Jaak Panksepp, (3) the Polyvagal theory of play according to Stephen Porges, (4) Daniel Siegel’s ideas of the storytelling brain, and (5) the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions by Barbara Fredrickson. The integration of these theories within the practical applications of play therapy will be the goal of this presentation to demonstrate the idea that play therapy has a solid scientific basis as seen in the examples of several play therapy modalities.


Day 1: Play in the Nervous System

On this first day we will explore brain circuitry dedicated to play and what this means in terms of using a neuroscience-informed approach to our clinical play interventions. We will also look at some core neuroscientific principles that we can use to guide our clinical decisions.

Day 2: Play Therapy from an Interpersonal Neurobiology Perspective

How does the storytelling brain use the sand tray modality? And how do we establish what Porges call a neuroception of safety that allows clients to tell their stories and make sense of their lives? These questions will be the focus of our second day as we draw from Siegel’s concepts of the pathways of integration in the brain/mind.

Day 3: Broaden and Build Theory Using the Positivity of Play

Weaving a number of play therapy modalities together, we will find ways to articulate how play helps to build a resilient nervous system. We will reference Panksepp’s core motivational systems, Porges’s hierarchy of arousal zones, and Fredrickson’s Broaden-and-Build theory of positivity to demonstrate the power of play to heal.


Entrance Requirement:

Participants must have experience working with children/adolescent, or families. Degree education or above is necessary.


For more details, please call 6227-8906 for Ms Cheuk or e-mail: info@littletree.com.hk.


11 January 2017 @ 9:30 am HKT
13 January 2017 @ 5:00 pm HKT
Event Category:


Little Tree Play Therapy House
+852 6227 8906


Room 607, The Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong
Room 607, The Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong, 3 Lockhart Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
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