Aggression in Play Therapy: A Synergetic Approach for Integrating Intensity & Trauma

Are your play therapy sessions filled with swords fights, battles, babies dying, handcuffs, you dying, explosions or other highly intense play? Are you often set up to watch or be a part of play that leaves you feeling nervous, unsafe, overwhelmed, confused or just wanting to run away and hide? If so, you’re not alone.

Although aggression and death are a common part of the play therapy process, many therapists don’t have a clear understanding of what to do and how to facilitate the intensity when it enters the playroom during play. The result can lead to inadvertently promoting aggression and increasing low brain disorganization. It can also lead to the therapist feeling beat up, exhausted and hyper-aroused themselves, which can significantly impact their longevity in the field, as well as their ability to stay attuned and present to a child in the playroom.

Enter Synergetic Play Therapy! Through an SPT lens, and a heavy dose of neuroscience, this 2-hour video course helps therapists learn how to use play in a way that supports regulation – theirs and their client’s! With the help of neuroscience, therapists will learn how to effectively work with aggressive play in a way that supports nervous system regulation and reorganization of the child’s lower centers of the brain. This course will also help decrease compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma.

Please scroll down for class details and objectives.


What: This fun, experiential workshop will open up new possibilities for your practice. We will explore a science-based process for working with children at the deepest, most profound levels, while showing you how to stay safe and sane. You’ll learn the art of sword fighting, gun play, bop bag play and more, while understanding what it takes to maximize growth and integration for your clients and for you as the therapist. 

When: Watch this course at your convenience (you’ll have lifetime access! – this course doesn’t expire!) 

Where: Anywhere!

What Will You Learn: Gain an understanding of the below listed topics …

  • Setting boundaries without shaming the child
  • Nervous system states and regulation
  • The 4 threats of the brain
  • Working with Hyper-arousal in sessions
  • Working with Hypo-arousal in sessions
  • Swords fights, gun play, and more!
  • Making aggressive play therapeutic
  • Aggressive Toys
  • Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma
  • And so much more!

Aggression in Play Therapy: A Synergetic Approach for Integrating Intensity and Trauma Objectives:

  • Explain the link between a child’s dysregulated states of their nervous system and their aggressive and traumatic play.
  • Describe how to facilitate aggressive play in the play therapy process without increasing or promoting aggression.
  • Explain the Synergetic Play Therapy concept of “The Set-Up” in the playroom.
  • Demonstrate how to set boundaries without shaming or shutting down a client’s play.

Credits: 2 APT Non-Contact CE Credits*

*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: $60 USD

Instructor: Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S

Refund Policy: Fees are non-refundable, but are transferable to other courses. If you are dissatisfied with the course, you may request a transfer of funds to another course or book study. You will not receive CE credits for the original course you signed up for.

Additional information

Pricing Options

Student Pricing: $45, Professional Pricing $60


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