Online Introduction to Synergetic Play Therapy®

Have you been searching for ways to create a deeper impact for your clients or students? Or perhaps …

  • Looking for game-changing concepts, ideas, and techniques to repattern a child’s nervous system and become a more effective external regulator in the playroom?…
  • Wanting to experience aggressive play, sand, and art from the perspectives of nervous system regulation, attunement, attachment, mindfulness and authenticity?…
  • Feeling burned out and want to find ways to come back to yourself or feel “green” again, like a new therapist full of curiosity and liveliness?…
  • Curious how to create a neuroception of safety for both the child and the caregiver to experience deeper integration?…
  • Wanting to learn a solid play therapy theory that combines the powers of play with interpersonal neurobiology?…
  • Or just wanting to feel a little more like YOU in the play therapy process?…

Online Introduction to Synergetic Play Therapy® is a 22-hour course that takes you on a journey to explore the neuroscience behind what is happening in the play therapy process, how to repattern a child’s nervous system, and what it means to become an external regulator in the playroom.

You will learn how to effectively work with caregivers and what it means to create a neuroception of safety allowing both the child and the caregiver to have a deeper integration.

And if this wasn’t enough, you will come to understand the magic of aggressive play, sand and art from the perspectives of nervous system regulation, attunement, attachment, mindfulness, and authenticity.

You’ll learn all this while also how to avoid burnout and compassion fatigue. Come discover what showing up in the playroom truly means and explore what is happening in the play therapy process, how change occurs, and ultimately what it takes to help children heal at profound levels. And the best part is, you get to be you on the journey! 

And, check out what past students have to say

SPT is the missing piece in play therapy. I gained an understanding of who I am in the playroom – a humanness that wasn’t there before.” -Frances Donohue

Online Introduction to Synergetic Play Therapy® Prerequisite Training: (if seeking Association for Play Therapy credit, you must meet all of these prerequisites)

  • Completed or enrolled in a Master’s Degree (or equivalent) program in counseling, social work, or education 
  • Previous experience working with children and families (required)
  • Basic understanding of play therapy and play therapy skills (required)

*For class details and objectives, see below.


This six-month online course includes three, one-hour LIVE webinars with Lisa Dion, six 2.5-hour recorded videos, and monthly one-hour group consultations with a Synergetic Play Therapy® Consultant. Consultation is a mandatory part of the course to help you integrate what you are learning … And, if you’d like, you can meet the Consultants here.

Course Details:

When: Program offered three times per year. Click here to see when next offered.

Where: Learn from anywhere! No commute required!

What You’ll Learn: Special topics such as tracking the play, attachment, facilitating sand, art, trauma, and aggressive play are covered from the perspective of nervous system regulation, attunement, mindfulness, and authenticity. Participants will also learn how to track their client’s changes for caregivers, teachers, agencies, and themselves. And, we’ve added a bonus recorded webinar just for you and to support you during these times – SPT in Teletherapy.

Mandatory Book: Please purchase this required book before your training. Lisa will be using it as a reference to provide supplemental readings: Aggression in Play Therapy: A Neurobiological Approach for Integrating Intensity by Lisa Dion  The book is also currently available in Audio format and SpanishIf you have not already purchased the required reading, you can get it at a 25% discount. This only applies for purchase made in the U.S.

Go here to redeem: Use coupon code LDION21 or

If you reside in Australia/New Zealand, you can order the book through Booktopia, Dymocks, QBD, Amazon AU, etc. Search the ISBN, 9780393713190 to pull results quickly. And if you are unable to locate the book in your country, please email us at, so we can contact the publisher and assist you in obtaining a copy.

Intro Objectives by Class:

Class 1 / Webinar 1 – Welcome and Understanding the Projective Process

  • Describe the basics of Synergetic Play Therapy including the tenets, the history, and the main play therapy influences
  • Explain how children use the projective process in play therapy to set the toys and the therapist up to feel how they feel
  • Assess and explain the significance of why authenticity is so important in the playroom
  • Describe how a SPT Therapist accesses (his/her/their) authentic self and deepens the child’s therapeutic process

Class 2 – Exploring the Nervous System in the Playroom

  • Explain the link between nervous system states and the symptoms that show up in the playroom
  • Describe the importance of regulation in the playroom
  • Demonstrate how the therapist can become the external regulator so that the child can begin to learn how to regulate
  • Explain what the concept “rocking the baby” means in Synergetic Play Therapy

Bonus Video – SPT and Teletherapy

  • Explore how to become the client’s external regulator while facilitating a telehealth play therapy session
  • Identity at least 3 ways the play therapist can regulate during a teletherapy session to prevent compassion fatigue and burnout
  • Explore how the Synergetic Play Therapy concept of “The Set Up/The Offering” applies in a telehealth play therapy session

Class 3 / Webinar 2 – Regulation: What It Is and What It Isn’t

  • Explain what regulation is and what it isn’t according to Synergetic Play Therapy
  • Discuss what it means to “overcome a challenge” in the play therapy process
  • Describe what it means to become the external regulator in a session to help a child integrate their challenges
  • Explain why you, the therapist, are the most important toy in the playroom

Class 4 – Working with Caregivers

  • Discuss the implications for caregivers being in their own grief process whey they bring their children to play therapy
  • Describe how to have a successful play therapy intake
  • Discuss the importance of setting goals and speaking in terms of what is important to the caregiver

Class 5 – Understanding Attachment & the Self Object in Synergetic Play Therapy 

  • Discuss Synergetic Play Therapy’s definition and perspective on attachment
  • Explain and demonstrate how to use the self-object as a way to support the client attaching to self
  • Describe the link between a child’s attachment styles and their nervous system states

Class 6 / Webinar 3 – Sand, Art & Aggression in Synergetic Play Therapy

  • Explain how to use regulation as a way to help integrate aggressive energy in the playroom
  • Describe how to facilitate the use of sand from a Synergetic Play Therapy perspective in the playroom
  • Explain how to facilitate the use of art from a Synergetic Play Therapy perspective in the playroom
  • Explain the concept of flooding in the playroom for both you and the child and list ways to create a neuroception of safety

Credits: 22 APT Non-Contact CE credits* (22 hours – Suggested APT Category: “Play Therapy Skills & Methods”)

*This program is sold by the Synergetic Play Therapy Institute, APT Approved Provider 09-264, ** Australian Play Therapists Association (APTA) Approved Provider, British Columbia Play Therapy Association (BCPTA) Approved Provider

**For an understanding of which credits can be used towards your RPT or continuing education, please contact APT for the most updated requirements. Also, please note that play therapy credit may not be awarded to non-mental health professionals.

Cost: $1275.00 (USD) Payment options available

**Do you want consultation catered to your needs? You can purchase individual consultations now or during the course (if you choose the latter, please contact us and we’ll provide you with a link).

Refund Policy: Cancellations received one month from the start date will receive a full refund. Cancellations received less than one month from the start of the class will receive a full refund minus a $100.00 administrative fee. Cancellation once the class begins will forfeit the payment of the course. However, payment can be applied towards a future Online Introduction to Synergetic Play Therapy course (within one year). If an emergency arises, please contact us to discuss.

Deferment Policy: If you are unable to complete your course, you are able to defer to the next course and can do so up to one time within one year of the initial start date. 

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