Pre-Teens and Teens in Play Therapy

With their changing brains and hormones, finding ways to integrate play with pre-teens and teens can at times just feel “Awkward”.  Learn how to navigate therapy with our clients who are no longer children, but also not quite yet adults.

From twelve-year-olds to seniors in high school, adolescence is a time filled with change. This can make the notion of bringing play therapy to this population a challenge. Do we play? Do we talk? Do I ask questions? What do I do?”  As such, many therapists find themselves at a loss with this age group, feeling just as confused as they do!  In this workshop, play therapists will delve into the mysteries of the teenage mind as we bust myths and glean insight into how to best offer therapeutic support.  Using neuroscience, Developmental, Synergetic, and Systemic theories, participants will explore how to navigate this “awkward” and sometimes “overwhelming” developmental stage using an eclectic framework of non-directive and directive play therapy approaches.  Understanding how to assess the teen’s emotional age, an area often missed when working with this population, will also be covered as a way to understand how to incorporate play into the therapy process.  

The information presented is designed to open minds and hearts as participants uncover the wisdom of the changing brain and the wisdom of the teenage years.  Through lecture, demonstration, and discussion, this workshop will deconstruct this mysterious stage and support play therapists in discovering how they can help mature and remodel the teenage brain, while supporting movement towards the discovery of the authentic self- the cornerstone of the development of a teenager’s identity.

To get a sense for the course, check out this short video below:

See course details below.


What: A 3-hour home study course dedicated to using play therapy with older children and teens.

Where: Wherever you are!

When: You will have access to this course for 365 days from the date of purchase. Access to this course and its content will expire at that time.

Pre-teens and Teens in Play Therapy Learning Objectives:

  • Identify why it is important not to have a script for when to apply directive and non-directive play therapy interventions with pre-teens and teens
  • Discuss the importance of assessing the pre-teen or teen’s emotional age in the play therapy process
  • Describe the most important goal when applying play therapy to your work with pre-teens and teens

You’ll Also Learn: 

  • What is happening in the teenage brain?
  • Emotional versus chronological age
  • Myths about the teenage years
  • The dopamine system
  • 4 fears of the brain
  • Dealing with the resistant teen
  • Discovering the authentic self
  • Genius and values
  • The Set-Up
  • Modeling regulation
  • Facilitating therapy
  • When to play and when to talk

CE Credit Hours: 3 CE Credit Hours, NBCC Content Area: Counseling Theory/Practice and the Counseling Relationship

Synergetic Play Therapy Institute has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7450. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Synergetic Play Therapy Institute is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Synergetic Play Therapy Institute is also an Approved Provider for the following associations:
*Australian Play Therapists Association (APTA) Approved Provider
*British Columbia Play Therapy Association (BCPTA) Approved Provider 23-01

Continuing education credit hours may be awarded to graduate-level counselors or students enrolled in a graduate-level mental health program. If you do not qualify for continuing education credit hours and would like to receive a certificate of completion for this course please contact the Institute directly.

Cost: $99 USD

If you are needing financial assistance or would like to make a donation to support other play therapists in being able to afford play therapy training, please visit the Synergetic Play Therapy Foundation website to learn more!

Presenter: Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S

Refund Policy: Fees are non-refundable, but are transferable to other courses. You will not receive CE credit hours for this course should you choose to transfer your enrollment to another course. Please contact the Institute should you have any questions or concerns. 


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