Throughout the lifespan, play supports neurological growth and development while building complex, skilled, flexible, responsive, and socially adept brains. Play also improves the natural ability to convey emotions. Yet clients who suffer from early trauma sometimes experience a reduced capacity for play which may impact their potential for spontaneous laughter, joy, excitement, creativity and connection. Some clinicians are comfortable integrating improvisation and playfulness into their practice. Others have difficulty embracing the uncertainty which may emerge, particularly when delving into the pain experienced by their clients.
During this conference, leading researchers and clinicians will draw upon the evidence-based research in neuroscience and positive psychology to examine ways that clinicians can stimulate client resilience, creativity and spontaneity using play. Through lectures, case presentations and interactive panels, participants will increase their therapeutic efficacy by developing skills which enhance their receptiveness and presence during client sessions. Presentations will also provide skills for connecting empathically and attuning to non-verbal body reactions and movements so therapists can resonate with clients at a deep, somatic level. Innovative methods for including humor, positive psychology and play in the therapeutic milieu will be explored with the goal of bringing more joy and creativity into the therapeutic process.