“Lessons from the Playroom” Episode 1 – The Most Important Toy in the Playroom

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"Without learning about ourselves as the most important toy, we miss part of the magic in the playroom and we miss understanding how play therapy actually works. When we don’t understand and know how to work with our own internal states, we cut off access to a deeper level of intuitive knowledge available to us during the play and we miss the ability to fully connect with the child. We also increase the probability of burn out and compassion fatigue, because we aren’t taking care of the most important toy." - Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S

“Without learning about ourselves as the most important toy, we miss part of the magic in the playroom and we miss understanding how play therapy actually works. When we don’t understand and know how to work with our own internal states, we cut off access to a deeper level of intuitive knowledge available to us during the play and we miss the ability to fully connect with the child. We also increase the probability of burn out and compassion fatigue, because we aren’t taking care of the most important toy.” – Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S

To kick off the Play Therapy Institute of Colorado’s “Lessons from the Playroom” Podcast, Lisa Dion, LPC, RPT-S, is challenging the thought that the toys are the most important toys in the playroom. The most important toy is actually the therapist! Join Lisa as she uses neuroscience to begin to shift our thinking towards the therapist being the most important toy and how we can begin to engage, learn about and most effectively use this toy to help our child clients heal at profound levels.

Show Notes:

  • 2:30  What does neuroscience have to say about the therapist being the most important toy in the playroom?
  • 4:00  Understanding why the way a child plays with the toys is more important than the toys themselves.
  • 5:50 Why don’t we tend to think of the therapist as the most important toy?
  • 6:35  What is Synergetic Play Therapy and how it supports the therapist as the most important toy?
  • 7:34 What is the primary way children learn and how therapists can use this understanding in the playroom?
  • 12:10 Therapists feel the impact of the child’s play whether they like it or not — understanding the two choices therapists have when this occurs and the implications when a therapist chooses to deny their own experience.
  • 14:15 Using modeling as a way to help a child learn to move towards uncomfortable thoughts and sensations.
  • 16:00 Understanding what happens when the therapist doesn’t manage their own thoughts, sensations and feelings arising from the child initiated play and the ramifications for this.
  • 17:15 What can happen therapeutically in the playroom if we embrace the idea that the therapist is the most important toy in the playroom?
  • 19:00 What is the most important play therapy course to take and why we don’t usually take it?
  • 19:45  What if play therapy required no toys?

You can learn more by reading our series of two blog posts on the subject, “The Therapist: The Most Important Toy in the Playroom” and “Have We Forgotten the Most Important Toy in the Playroom, Part II.”.

Have questions or comments, please include them in the comments section below, or visit us on Facebook.

Do you want to learn more about this topic and many others? Check out our Online Introduction to Synergetic Play Therapy Course starting March 9th. Registration runs through March 7th. 

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