Brain Research and Child Development in a Play Therapy Setting


This course will review current theories and research on brain development with a focus on important and useful brain functions and concepts for Play Therapists, and the impact on brain development from early childhood trauma. This course will also focus on understanding how play enhances brain development in children and how brain heals through the power of relationships and brain integration activities and exercises.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Identify key structures and functions of the brain and nervous system, and their deficiencies if damaged
  2. Understand developmental milestones in brain development: object permanence, self-recognition, social reference, and perspective taking
  3. Understand important and useful brain functions for Play Therapists: left and right brain; upstairs and downstairs brain; mirror neurons; use or lose; brain hierarchy and function; neurotransmitters; and memory
  4. Identify how neglect, poor attachment, abuse, prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol, and relational trauma affect the brain; including fear driven brain Understand how play optimizes brain development
  5. Understand how play therapy and various therapy models and approaches heal the brain through the power of relationships and brain integration