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Using NMT Principles in Theraplay Practice

November 11, 2021 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm CST

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*CEs only available for those licensed in the US
No APT credit available

**Must have taken Level One Theraplay & MIM or Modules 1-3

This is a 2 day virtual training
November 11-12, 2021

Trainers: Mary Ring and Dr. Erica Lam


This course will describe NMT principals and explore the use of them during play therapy case intake, treatment planning, and Theraplay interaction. Theraplay is a type of play therapy that is used to create stronger attachment bonds in parent/child relationships, as well as provide better interpersonal patterns in group interactions.

Particular characteristics of doing intake for NMT mapping will be presented and contrasted to gathering developmental history for typical play therapy/Theraplay intakes. Participants will then be guided to develop and implement practical activities to use for the purpose of reorganizing neural patterns while carrying out the process of Theraplay treatment. The goal of play therapy treatment for using presented types of activities are for creating stronger relational and regulation neural patterns for parent/child interactions.

Learning Objectives:

  1. List at least 8 NMT principles that can be useful in Theraplay, a type of play therapy
  2. Compare the similarities and differences of gathering developmental history for treatment plan for play therapy in a typical Theraplay case and for NMT mapping 
  3. Apply NMT principles to each of Theraplay dimensions
  4. Explain how NMT principles encourage attunement of caregiver to match and meet the child’s intimacy needs through Theraplay sessions
  5. List 4 similarities of NMT regulatory activities to Theraplay play therapy activities
  6. Explain the principal of state dependent regulation, a key element of successful Theraplay
  7. List three possible outcome measures from NTM scoring that would be useful in creating a Theraplay play therapy treatment plan.  
  8. List 3 possible interventions for a client who presents with more severe body and emotional dysregulation based on NMT results before the application of Theraplay
  9. Discuss the benefit of presenting a NMT map to the adults in a child’s life during parent consults in Theraplay


Day One
9:00 Introduction/Comparison of NMT intake to that of Play Therapy/Theraplay
10:00 Introduction to NMT map obtained from intake information
10:30 Break
10:45 Discussion of NMT map presentation with caregivers – benefits for beginning treatment and future consultations
11:30 Brief Introduction to NMT principles
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Applying NMT principles to each of Theraplay dimensions.
2:30 Break
2:45 Using NMT outcome measures to develop Theraplay treatment plan
3:30 Using NMT principles to achieve attunement and felt safety in Theraplay sessions for therapists and caregivers

Day Two
9:00 Brief intro and play
9:15 NMT principle of state dependent regulation
10:30 Break
10:45 Using NMT activities with the highly dysregulated before beginning Theraplay
12:00 Lunch
1:00 NMT regulatory activities similar to Theraplay activities
2:00 Presentation of Case Study
3:00 Break
3:15 Presentation of Case Study
4:15 Questions and Wrap Up Activity


Baylin, J., & Hughes, D.A. (2016) The Neurobiology of Attachment‐focused Therapy: Enhancing Connection & Trust in the Treatment of Children & Adolescents (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology). New York: Norton.

Cassidy, J., & Shaver, P.R. (2016). Handbook of Attachment (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford.

Cherland E. (2012). The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, Self-Regulation. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry21(4), 313–314.

Hughes, D., & Baylin, J. (2012). Brain‐based Parenting: The Neuroscience of Caregiving for Healthy Attachment. New York: W.W. Norton.

Hughes, D.A., Golding, K.S., & Hudson, J. (2018). Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy: Healing Trauma with Attachment‐focused Interventions for Children and Their Families. New York: Norton.

Jernberg, A. M., & Booth, P. B. (1999). Theraplay: Helping parents and children build better relationships through attachment-based play. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Ludy-Dobson, C. R., & Perry, B. D. (2010). The role of healthy relational interactions in buffering the impact of childhood trauma. In E. Gil (Ed.), Working with children to heal interpersonal trauma: The power of play (p. 26–43). The Guilford Press.

Perry, B. D., & Szalavitz, M. (2008). The boy who was raised as a dog: And other stories from a child psychiatrist’s notebook : what traumatized children can teach us about loss, love, and healing. New York: Basic Books.

Perry, B.D. & Dobson, C. (2013) Application of the Neurosequential Model (NMT) in maltreated children. In Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders in Children and Adolescents, (J. Ford & C. Courtois, Eds.) Guilford Press, New York, pp. 249-260

Perry, B.D. (1999) Memories of fear: How the brain stores and retrieves physiologic states, feelings, behaviors and thoughts from traumatic events: In: Images of the Body in Trauma (J.M. Goodwin and R. Attias, Ed.). Basic Books. New York, pp 26-47

Perry, B.D. (2006) The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics: Applying principles of neuroscience to clinical work with traumatized and maltreated children In: Working with Traumatized Youth in Child Welfare (Nancy Boyd Webb, Ed.), pp. 27-52, The Guilford Press, New York

Perry, B.D. (2012) Bonding and attachment in maltreated children: consequences of emotional neglect in childhood. ChildTrauma Academy Press, Houston

Perry, B.D. (2019) The Neurosequential Model: a developmentally-sensitive, neuroscience-informed approach to clinical problem solving in (Janise Mitchell, Joe Tucci & Ed Tronick, Eds), The Handbook of Therapeutic Child Care: Evidence-informed Approaches to Working with Traumatized Children in Foster, Relative and Adoptive Care. Jessica Kingsley, London

Perry, B.D.  Child maltreatment: the role of abuse and neglect in developmental psychopathology. In Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychopathology (Eds., Theodore P. Beauchaine & Stephen P. Hinshaw) Wiley, New York,  pp. 93-128, 2008Hughes D, Golding KS, Hudson J. Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP): the development of the theory, practice and research base. Adoption & Fostering. 2015;39(4):356-365.

Perry, B.D., Pollard, R., Blakely, T., Baker, W., & Vigilante, D. (1995) Childhood trauma, the neurobiology of adaptation and ‘usedependent’ development of the brain: How “states” become “traits’“. Infant Mental Health J, 16 (4): 271-291

Porges, Stephen W. The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-Regulation. New York: W.W. Norton, 2011.

Siegel, D. J., & Bryson, T. P. (2016). No-drama discipline: the whole-brain way to calm the chaos and nurture your child’s developing mind. Trade Paperback Edition. New York: Bantam Books. 

Siegel, D. J., & Payne Bryson, T. (2011). The whole-brain child: 12 revolutionary strategies to nurture your child’s developing mind. Bantam Books.

Siegel, DJ (2007) The Mindful Brain: Reflection and attunement in the cultivation of well-being, New York: WW Norton & Co.

Szalavitz, M., & Perry, B. D. (2010). Born for love: Why empathy is essential– and endangered. New York: William Morrow.

Registration Terms and Conditions

Special Notes:
Our cancellation policies have been temporarily adjusted to reflect our response to the pandemic and local government and health department directives. Please review this policy before completing your registration. We urge all participants to put their health and that of members of their communities first.


November 11, 2021
9:00 am - 4:30 pm CST
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