Skip to content

Dissociation and Play Therapy

For someone else
Avail Institute Admin
For someone else

This 1.5 hour workshop explores risk factors and signs of dissociation as well as diagnostic information.



This 1.5 hour workshop explores risk factors and signs of dissociation as well as diagnostic information. The presenter examines definitions of dissociation, history of dissociation, somatic expression, dissociative parts, evolutionary action systems, innate systems of the autonomic nervous system, psychoeducation, and gradual steps of realization. The presenter shares play therapy activities that can be applied with any age group to enhance feelings of safety and grounding. You will be provided with handouts of the felt sense exercise and the autonomic nervous system.


Learning Objectives:


Upon completion of this workshop, the participant will be able to:

  • Identify 3 ways dissociation can manifest itself in your clients.
  • Apply play therapy interventions to address symptoms of dissociation.
  • Identify 6 innate defenses of the autonomic nervous system.




Samantha Willis, M.Ed., CCC, LPC (AL), NCC, Registered Play Therapist


CE Hours:


1.5 non-contact hours

APT approved provide number 18-527




Boon, S., Steele, K., & Van der Hart, O. (2011). Coping with trauma-related dissociation: Skills training for patients and therapists. New York, NY: Norton.


Janet, P. (1935). Réalisation et interprétation. Annales médico-psychologiques, 93, 329-366.


Janet, P. (1945). La croyance délirante. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für psychologie, 4, 173-187.


Kain, K. (Ed.), (2007). Somatic experiencing: Healing trauma. Boulder, CO: Foundation for Human Enrichment.


Levine, P. (1997). Waking the tiger: Healing trauma. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.


Levine, P. (2005). Healing trauma: A pioneering program for restoring the wisdom of your body. Boulder, CO. Sounds True.


Loewenstein, R.J. (1993). Dissociation, development, and the psychobiology of trauma, Journal of American academy of psychoanalysis, 21(4), 581-603.


Mayo Clinic. (2019). Dissociative disorders. Retrieved from diseases-conditions/dissociative-disorders/symptoms-causes/syc-20355215


Rothschild, B. (2000). The body remembers: The psychophysiology of trauma and trauma treatment. New York, NY: Norton.


Rothschild, B. (2017). The body remembers volume 2: Revolutionizing trauma treatment. New York, NY: Norton.


Steele, K., Boon, S., & Van der Hart, O. (2017). Treating trauma-related dissociation: A practical, integrative approach. New York, NY: Norton.


van der Hart, O. & Friedman, B. (1989). A reader's guide to Pierre Janet on dissociation: A neglected intellectual heritage. Dissociation, 2(1), 3-16.


van der Hart, O., Nijenhuis, E.R.S., & Steele, K. (2006). The haunted self: Structural dissociation of the personality and treatment of chronic traumatization. New York, NY: Norton.


Refund and Grievance Policy

Avail Institute is fully committed to conducting all activities in strict conformance with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists, the National Board of Certified Counselors Code of Ethics, and the Association for Play Therapy Best Practice Guidelines. Avail Institute will comply with all legal and ethical responsibilities to be non-discriminatory in promotional activities, program content, and in the treatment of program participants.


While Avail Institute goes to great lengths to assure fair treatment for all participants and attempts to anticipate problems, it recognizes that complaints do and will arise. Avail Institute will do its best to anticipate problems and, when they do present themselves, will attempt to alleviate complaints as quickly as possible.


Refund Policy

  • Participants can submit a written email request up to 15 days after purchasing a pre-recorded course in which the continuing education certificate has not been presented to them. Participants can submit a written email request at least 7 days prior to a live training course in order to receive a refund.
  • Course pricing cannot be changed after purchase to reflect sales or promo codes.
  • Participants must complete an exam with a passing score of 80% in order to earn their continuing education certificate.
  • No course refund will be provided due to failure to complete the course.
  • Participants will be given a 30 day notification by email if a purchased course is scheduled to be removed or access to the course will be changed.
  • If a live training course is cancelled due to insufficient registration, weather-related emergencies, technical difficulties, or other emergencies, all participants will be given the option to attend a rescheduled event at no additional charge or receive a full refund.
  • No partial continuing education credit is available. The participant must complete the entire course in order to receive continuing education credit.


Grievance Policy

When a complaint, either verbally or written, is filed with Avail Institute, the following guidelines are followed with respect to achieving resolution:


  1. Complaints relative to a course instructor, contents of instructional materials being presented, or an individual educational style being utilized, the individual voicing disapproval is requested to first address concerns to the instructor. If the instructor is not available, place feedback in writing. Avail Institute will convey these comments to the instructor while maintaining confidentiality of the complainant.
  2.  If the complaint concerns a continuing education activity, its content, level of presentation, or facilities in which the event is being held, Avail Institute will attempt to resolve the matter as expeditiously as possible. If the offered resolution (resolutions may include, but not be limited to partial/full refund of fees paid; credit towards a future course) not satisfactory to the individual filing the complaint, then further action may be taken. In the latter instance, the individual is requested to place his/her complaint in writing to the attention of Avail Institute. The complaint is then reviewed by Avail Institute. A written response will be issued within 30 days of receipt of the written complaint. Within 30 days of the resolution rendered by Avail Institute, the complainant may file a written appeal to Avail Institute. The decision of Avail Institute is final.



A participant with questions regarding Avail Institute’s refund policy or grievance policy needs to contact Brett Willis at

Here is the course outline:

1. Video

In this video Samantha discusses the nature of dissociation and play therapy techniques that can be used to address the symptoms.

2. Handouts

Material related to the course.

3. Evaluation

Complete the evaluation for this course.

4. Quiz

Take the quiz and pass to receive your certificate.


The following certificates are awarded when the course is completed:

Certificate of Completion 1.5 hr
Back to top