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March 7, 2021

March 7, 2021

March 7, 2021

Symbolic Play in the Treatment of Trauma, Mental Health and Developmental Differences:
An Integrated Forum

Symbolic Play in the Treatment of Trauma, Mental Health and Developmental Differences:
An Integrated Forum

Symbolic Play in the Treatment of Trauma, Mental Health and Developmental Differences:
An Integrated Forum

March 14, 2021

March 14, 2021

March 14, 2021

An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Therapeutic Power of Symbolic Play

An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Therapeutic Power of Symbolic Play

An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Therapeutic Power of Symbolic Play

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Symbolic play is the process of inventing imaginary situations or re-enactments in the safety of the relationship, in which a story unfolds revealing the child’s inner world and developmental readiness to engage in their emotional life.

In therapy, symbolic play tells a collective story emerging from the reciprocal relationships between the minds and hearts of children, parents and therapists. These create shared emotions and mental states that give meaning, and opens the child’s potential for resolution, growth and advances development.

The first day of the Conference plenary sessions examined the role of symbolic play in treating early trauma, emotional difficulties such as anxiety, attachment, depression, sadness, anger and behavioral disruptions, divorce and parent alienation, as well as the role of symbolic play in the treatment of ASD and other developmental challenges. The emotional challenges and anxieties that are an expected part of development will also be emphasized. The round table discussion  addressed the similarities and differences among play methodologies for trauma, emotionally based difficulties and developmental differences.

The second day of the Conference addressed how related disciplines such as creative arts, education, family therapists, occupational, speech and language, employ symbolic play and process in their interventions. Small group, case-based, breakout sessions reflected on understanding the impact of neuro-biological individual differences across trauma, emotional difficulties, and developmental differences. This day enriched each discipline’s recognition of the underlying complexity of symbolic capacity and how different disciplines working together can deepen the therapeutic process and outcomes.

Thank you to all who supported and attended!

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Promoting Child-Parent Symbolic Play to Repair Early Trauma

Profectum’s Endowed Speaker

Alicia Lieberman, PhD

This talk will describe the use of dyadic play in Child-Parent Psychotherapy for the expression of the child’s trauma narrative and the co-creation by the child and the parent of a protective narrative that promotes child safety and corrects pathogenic beliefs involving the traumatic events. Clinical vignettes will illustrate the integration of child free symbolic play with therapeutic interventions that enable the parent to become a partner with the child in repairing ruptures in trust, fostering age-appropriate object constancy, and restoring a healthy developmental trajectory.

Alicia Lieberman, PhD
Irving B. Harris Endowed Chair in Infant Mental Health
Professor and Vice Chair for Faculty Development
UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences
Director, Child Trauma Research Program

Profectum’s first endowed speaker supported by
The Profectum Educational Endowment Fund
Honoring Serena Wieder, PhD

The Power and Limitations of Symbolic Play in the Individual Psychotherapy of Children

Linda Gunsberg, PhD

There are different models available for psychotherapeutic intervention that employ symbolic play. This presentation will focus on the use of symbolic play in a psychodynamic context for the treatment of emotionally based difficulties such as anxiety, fear, sadness, loss, problems with anger, conflicts and attachment disruptions. These are particularly significant in the contexts of adoption, parental separation, divorce, and parental alienation. In play therapy the therapist considers when and whether or not to comment on the play itself, its underlying symbolic meaning, and its application to the child’s emotional life. The therapist’s reflection on their own feelings aroused in the play provides insights to understanding the child’s play and what is happening in play. There are various ways in which the child therapist involves the parents, sometimes in the sessions with the child and sometimes collaterally.

A Forward Journey/Pathways in Development

 Serena Wieder, PhD and Gilbert Foley, EdD, IMH-E

Children with ASD and other developmental differences have inner emotional lives that can, in many cases, be accessed through symbolic play to advance emotional development and climb the developmental ladder. Working within the Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based Model (DIR®) and examining the impact of auditory, visual spatial, movement and sensory processing challenges on play, this presentation discusses the use of symbolic play to promote regulation, anxiety management, reality testing, and the attainment of the hierarchy of symbolized affects in a parent-mediated model integrated with other therapies. Further, it explores unique challenges often encountered with children on the spectrum including being stuck at pre-symbolic play levels, using regressive symbols, borrowing symbolic themes, and progressing at their own pace. However, in spite of developmental roadblocks, many children on the spectrum can reach unexpected heights of emotional and cognitive development.

Round Table Discussion: Similarities and Differences in Using Symbolic Play in Treatment

          

Alicia Lieberman, PhD; Linda Gunsberg, PhD; Gilbert Foley, EdD, IMH-E; Serena Wieder, PhD; Mona Delahooke PhD; Connie Lillas. PhD, MFT, RN

Children with ASD and other developmental differences have inner emotional lives that can, in many cases, be accessed through symbolic play to advance emotional development and climb the developmental ladder. Working within the Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based Model (DIR®) and examining the impact of auditory, visual spatial, movement and sensory processing challenges on play, this presentation discusses the use of symbolic play to promote regulation, anxiety management, reality testing, and the attainment of the hierarchy of symbolized affects in a parent-mediated model integrated with other therapies. Further, it explores unique challenges often encountered with children on the spectrum including being stuck at pre-symbolic play levels, using regressive symbols, borrowing symbolic themes, and progressing at their own pace. However, in spite of developmental roadblocks, many children on the spectrum can reach unexpected heights of emotional and cognitive development.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Therapeutic Power of Symbolic Play

     

Creating Possibilities: The Intermingling of DIR® and Psychodynamic Therapies

Case Presentation by Diane Selinger, PhD

Moderated by Gilbert Foley, EdD, IMH-E and Serena Wieder, PhD

Discussion Groups Facilitated by Profectum DIR® Faculty

Symbolic Play offers a safe pathway to  re-enact, regulate and master emotional ideas and experiences. The child’s impetus to create a fantasy has many sources from wish fulfillment, to claiming power, defending against anxiety, or repairing intolerable frustrations and trauma. With its many facets and meanings, symbolic play is a powerful therapeutic modality for parents, teachers and therapists of all disciplines. This session will begin with a shared case study to set the stage for small group, case-based, breakout sessions to examine the development, meaning and complexity of symbolic play, the impact of neuro-biological differences across trauma, emotional difficulties and autism, and the methods and effectiveness of intervention. Participants may discuss questions related to their symbolic use of play and learn from the perspectives of other disciplines to deepen their understanding of the therapeutic process and outcomes. Profectum’s distinguished Faculty of psychologists, social workers, physicians, speech-language, occupational, and creative arts therapists will facilitate themed groups, including groups for parents. Each themed group will have three facilitators and participants will be surveyed as to their group preference following registration.

Lynn Abelson, MA, CCC-SLP, OTR/LCarrie Alvarado, PhD, OTR | Tal Baz, MS, OTR/L | Michael Brown, LMSW | Marilee Burgeson, MA, CCC-SLPSherri Cawn, MA, CCC-SLPLinda Cervenka, MA, CCC-SLP | Tyler Choate, MS, CCC-SLPLisa deFaria, LCSW, BCD | Mona Delahooke, PhD  |  Griff Doyle, PhDJosh Feder, MDCaroline Ferguson-Walsh, MS-LP(C), CCC-SLP | Sima Gerber, PhD, CCC-SLP | John Gillies, LCSW, MS EdSteven Glazier, MA | Lois Gold, OTR, PA | Cindy Harrison, M.Sc. – Reg. CASLPOMichele Havens, EdDBarri Keller, PsyDChad Kordt-Thomas, LCSWConnie Lillas, PhD, MFT, RNKaren McDowell Kristin McNally, MS, OTR/LEdi Nelson, MS, OTR/LMonica OsgoodBeth Osten, MS, OTR/LMichele Parkins, MS, OTRMichele Ricamato, MA, CCC-SLPRicki Robinson, MD, MPHStacy Sue Rosello, MA, OTR/LRuby Salazar, LCSW, BCD | Diane Selinger, PhDJehan Shehata-Aboubar, BA, CCCSusan Smith-Foley. OTD, MPA, OTR/LTraci Swink, MDSuzi Tortora, EdD, BC-DMT, CMA, LCAT, LMHCJeanne White, MFTNoemi White, MSc (Psych)Rosemary White, OTR/L

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