No matter what a child may be struggling with, when attempts at talking through a problem do not work, using alternative approaches for connecting will often prove more helpful. This workshop explores creative ways of engaging and communicating with children (ages 3-12) and their natural support systems. Participants will learn practical skills based on the expressive arts (play, art, drama) and integrative body-based techniques (mindfulness, sensory, and whole-brain activities) that promote and build resilience in children. Informed by attachment theories, developmental psychology, family therapy, and neuroscience, this training uses a variety of experiential exercises, role-plays, and interactive activities to enhance participant learning.

Some of the Topics Reviewed

  • Attachment Overview: Relationship, Rhythm, and Resilience
  • Developmental Knowledge and Putting it in Context
  • What We’ve Learned About Growing Brains – Neuroscience
  • Building Connections with Parents and Caregivers
  • Why Talking Doesn’t Always Work and Strategies that Do
  • The Role of Play and Imagination
  • Creative Strategies for Engagement and Building Empathy Skills
  • Somatic Approaches for Self-regulation – Working with Unsettled Bodies
  • Mindfulness and Guided Imagery
  • Emotional Literacy and Expressive Techniques
  • Skills for Working with Resistance
  • Tips for Handling Transitions and Crises
  • How to Work with Groups for Maximum Benefit

Target Audience

This is an introductory-intermediate level workshop intended for school personnel, social service and health care professionals, counsellors, social workers, parents, and anyone wanting to increase their capacity for helping children and youth.

Method of Delivery

Presentation, video, experiential practice of activities and exercises, personal reflection, and small group discussions.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the foundation of attachment for effective support of optimal childhood development
  • Describe ways to use play, expressive arts, movement, guided imagery, and mindful awareness with children
  • Illustrate how to help children and families undergoing natural transitions and crises
  • List steps to engage one’s own imagination, intuition, and ability to play