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110 | Developmentally Appropriate Treatment of Childhood Trauma: The Evidence-based Use of Play Therapy

Thursday 9/14 8:45 – 10:00 AM, Workshop Tracks, Youth and Family Development: Issues and Interventions


Daniel Sweeney, Ph.D.



Approved For CE

Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Pastors, Pastoral Counselors, Lay Counselors, Coaches

Approved For CME/CEU

Medical Doctors, Osteopathic Doctors, Physicians Assistants, Midwives, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners




Psychotherapy with traumatized children must be developmentally appropriate. To use “adult therapy” with children is not only ineffective but also dishonoring. It is imperative to consider the encompassing psychological and neurobiological effects of trauma on children, as traumatized children need a therapeutic experience that is physically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually secure. Play therapy provides this, as it is developmentally appropriate, well-researched, and evidence-based. This workshop will explore the pervasive effects of trauma, the benefits of play therapy and identify who would benefit from this type of therapy, and supportive research for the basis for using play therapy with traumatized child clients. This workshop will aid psychologists, licensed mental health professionals, medical professionals, and ministry leaders in understanding play therapy and how it can be utilized with children.

Learning Objectives

1. Describe the fundamental psychological and neurobiological effects of trauma on children
2. Identify the rationale for using the developmentally appropriate approach of play therapy when working with traumatized children and how to identify those children who would be most appropriate for this type of therapy
3. Discuss the empirical basis for and efficacy of play therapy
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