Play is a powerful method of transformation. Play Therapy is a form of counselling that uses the language of play to help people, especially children, prevent or resolve psychological challenges. This improves social integration, growth and development, emotional modulation and trauma resolution. If your child has experienced a difficult transition (i.e. death in the family, divorce), anxiety, trouble sleeping, or challenges with regulating emotion, play therapy can help.
Synergetic Play Therapy
Synergetic Play Therapy (SPT) is a researched-informed model of play therapy based on nervous system regulation, interpersonal neurobiology, physics, attachment, mindfulness, and therapist authenticity. It is a somatically-based model of play therapy.
SPT is a way of being in relationship with self and others. It’s an all-encompassing paradigm that can be applied to any facet of life and, subsequently, any model of play therapy can be applied to it or vice versa.
The Synergetic Play Therapist aims to replicate the delicate dance of attunement that occurs between a caregiver and an infant. Since 60% of communication is non-verbal (Burgoon, 1985), it is important that the therapist’s verbalizations and non-verbal activity are congruent during the play therapy sessions in order to transmit trust and safety to the client (Shore, 2006). In doing so, the therapist maximizes right-hemisphere to right-hemisphere communication and acts as an external regulator for the client’s dysregulated states (Shore, 1994) as they arise in the play therapy process.
The therapist is the most important toy in the playroom. Toys are used to help facilitate:
1) The relationship between the child and his or her perceptions of the challenging experiences in their lives and;
2) The relationship between the therapist and the child. SPT believes that the toys themselves are not as important as the energy and emotions that arise as a result of how the child is playing with them.
SPT posits that the therapist’s ability to engage in mindfulness and model regulation of her own nervous system is the foundation for clients to learn how to manage their own. The therapist has to lead the way, just like a caregiver has to lead the way for an infant.
The result of Synergetic Play Therapy is that the child heals from the inside out and from the lowest part of the brain up.