Full Course Description

The Whole-Brain Child Approach

Introduction—Integration as a theoretical framework

Part 1—Two Brains are Better than One:  Integrate the Left and the Right

  • Whole-Brain Strategy #1–Connect and Redirect:  
    • Surfing Emotional Waves
  • Whole-Brain Strategy #2 – Name It to Tame It:
    • Telling Stories to Calm Big Emotions and Build Resilience for Difficult Transitions

Part 2—Building the Staircase of the Mind:  Integrating the Upstairs and Downstairs

  • Whole-Brain Strategy #3–Engage, Don’t Enrage:  
    • Appealing to the Upstairs Brain
    • Reducing flight, fight, and freeze responses and increase thinking responses
  • Whole-Brain Strategy #4 – Use It or Lose It:  
    • Exercising the Upstairs Brain
    • Strategies for executive function, anxiety disorders, ADHD, and oppositional defiant disorders
  • Whole-Brain Strategy #5 – Move It or Lose It:  
    • Moving the Body to Avoid Losing the Mind
    • Using movement to shift automatic emotional and bodily responses

Part 3—Kill the Butterflies! Integrating Memory for Growth and Healing

  • Whole-Brain Strategy #6 – Use the Remote of the Mind:  
    • Replaying Memories to Resolve Little Traumas and Big Traumas
  • Whole-Brain Strategy #7 – Remember to Remember:  
    • Making Recollection a Part of Daily Life
    • Creating new neural connections for self-identity formation

Part 4—The United States of Me:  Integrating the Many Parts of Myself

  • Whole-Brain Strategy #8 – Let the Clouds of Emotion Roll By:  
    • Teaching that Feelings Come And Go
  • Whole-Brain Strategy #9 – SIFT:  Paying Attention to What’s Going On Inside
    • Tools for improving self-awareness and insight
  • Whole-Brain Strategy #10 – Exercise Mindsight:  
    • Intervention for anxiety and mood disorders

Part 5—The Me-We Connection:  Integrating Self and Other

  • Whole-Brain Strategy #11 – Increase the Family Fun Factor:  
    • Creating new family dynamics
  • Whole-Brain Strategy #12 – Connect Through Conflict:  
    • Teaching Kids to Argue with a “We” in Mind
    • Expressing feelings appropriately in ways that improve relationships


  • Identify the framework of integration that can lead to health and wholeness
  • Explain how to revolutionize your assessment and treatment of anxiety, affective, executive function, and disruptive behavior disorders
  • Utilize Specific clinical experiences to shape how their clients’ brains are wired and function
  • Apply the framework of interpersonal neurobiology with pediatric and adolescent clients
  • Implement twelve Whole-Brain strategies
  • Show children how to take implicit memories of painful/traumatic experiences and make them explicit

Program Information

Target Audience

Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Case Managers, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, Teachers/Educators, Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants, and other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 11/08/2013

Brainstorm: A Clinician's Guide to the Changing Adolescent Brain

Dispelling the popular myths of teenage behavior

  • Cultural myths
  • Modern scientific views

The Essence of Adolescence

  • Benefits and challenges of this important period of life
  • How the essential elements of adolescence are the core of living a vital adult life as well
  • The myths vs. modern scientific views
  • Risk-taking, pushing-away, and sexual behavior of adolescence
  • Adolescence is now longer than ever before, creating unique stressors

The Adolescent Brain

  • The developmental neurobiology of the adolescent period
  • Pruning and myelination leads to the remodeling of the brain into the mid-twenties
  • Risk-taking behaviors and the origin of “hyper-rational” thinking overemphasizing the pros of a choice over the possible cons
  • Develop “gist thinking” that relies on intuition
  • Exercises that stimulate the integrative growth of the brain

Adolescence and Attachment

  • Attachment toward parents changes during adolescence
    • Push toward peer connections
    • Social engagement becomes a central part of teen life
  • Early life attachment continues to influence the adolescent’s relationships and the emerging self
  • Move non-secure attachment models toward security
  • “Mindsight skill practices”:
    • Mind
    • Brain
    • Relationships

Clinical Strategies: Staying Present Through Changes and Challenges

  • Emergence of a sexual identity and sexual relationships
  • Romance and first love
  • Drug use and abuse
  • The return home of an adolescent who has already left for a period of time
  • Other issues
  • The most common period for the onset of serious psychiatric problems:
    • Mood disorders
    • Anxiety
    • Disturbances in body image and identity
  • Role of our cultural approach to the essence of adolescence
  • Other issues
    • Social media
    • Nutrition
    • Divorce
    • Education


  • Describe 4 fundamental aspects of the essence of adolescence.
  • Explore how brain development affects teenage behavior and relationships.
  • Identify the difference between impulsivity and hyper- rational thinking.
  • List the 2 major components of the remodeling process in the teenage brain.
  • Name 3 outcomes of the changes in dopamine processing in the adolescent brain.
  • Evaluate adolescent increased risk and 3 neurological processes that cause it.
  • Compare adolescent risk-taking with and without the presence of peers.
  • Describe the relationship between gender identity and sexual orientation.

Program Information

Target Audience

Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Case Managers, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, Occupational Therapists/Occupational Therapy Assistant, Speech-Language Pathologists, Educators/Teachers and other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 05/09/2014

The Role of Play and Creativity in Psychotherapy​


  • How attachment relationships create the space for play
  • Neural integration, play and self-regulation
  • Trust, social engagement and play
  • Forms of play

Development of Play Across the Lifespan

  • Developmental trauma and its impact on trust and play
  • Abuse, neglect, and attachment
  • Traumatic attachment, unsolvable fear, and impaired play
  • Dissociation as a developmental result of trauma

The Fundamentals of a Creative Psychotherapy

  • The PART we play as therapists
  • Healing power of presence
  • The Polyvagal Theory and social engagement
  • Play and imagination within dyadic integration
  • Trust and the social engagement system of the brain

Play and Creativity

  • Space for inner directed exploration of the internal and external worlds
  • Find time to play and the freedom to create
  • Thriving with uncertainty
  • The pleasure of play builds upon itself

Play and Therapy

  • Energy and Information in new combinations
  • Use the a playful mind to change a chaotic or rigid brain
  • The central role of consciousness and neuroplasticity in the process of therapy
  • The self-organizing aspect of play in therapy
  • How creativity and play change a brain

Interventions and Play Activities

  • PTSD
  • OCD
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression

A Playful Interpersonal Space in Psychotherapy

  • Respect and Trust
  • Embrace the power of uncertainty
  • Cultivate and reignite the creative imagination
  • Relational and neural integration at the heart of resilience and health


  1. Discuss the role of play in the development of mental well-being.
  2. List four forms of play.
  3. Contrast a state of trust from a state of wariness.
  4. Identify how attachment patterns shape the drive for exploration.
  5. Summarize three ways in which uncertainty is necessary for play.
  6. Name four ways to incorporate creative play in psychotherapy.

Program Information

Target Audience

Case Managers, Counselors, Teachers/Educators, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants, Psychologists, Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists, and other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 10/14/2015

Brainstorm: The Power + Purpose of the Teenage Brain Session



Dispelling the popular myths of teenage behavior

  • Cultural myths
  • Modern scientific views

Why teens are driven to seek out novelty and take more risks

  • Sexual identity and relationships
  • Romance and first love
  • Drug use and abuse
  • Other issues

The brain undergoes rapid changes, even throughout one’s early 20s

  • Rebellious “teen” years don’t end when they turn 20

Adolescence is truly a “Golden Age”

  • Innovation
  • Creativity



  1. Describe the fundamental aspects of the essence of adolescence
  2. Explore how the brain development affects teenage behavior and relationships

Program Information

Target Audience

Addiction Counselors, Counselors, Educators, Marriage and Family Therapists, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapy Assistants, Psychologists, Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists

Copyright : 12/09/2013