Managing Director and Head of Faculty for The Play Strong Institute

Georgie Wisen-Vincent, LMFT, RPT-S


Georgie Wisen-Vincent, LMFT, RPT-S is the Managing Director and Head of Faculty for The Play Strong Institute, a continuing education and training organization for professionals and parents. She is a Teaching Professor in the Play Therapy Program at Loma Linda University and a Clinical Supervisor of Play Therapy Practicum at the Loma Linda Behavioral Health Institute. Georgie maintains a private practice working with children and families at The Center for Connection, headed by Tina Payne Bryson, PhD. She is a frequent speaker to parents and professional audiences on the topics of Play Therapy, Collaborative Parent-Child Play, and the Neuroscience of Play.

Tusday October 22, 2019 at The Wheeler
PlayStrong for PARENTS
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PlayStrong: A Brain-Based Approach to Play that Builds Resilience and Helps Children Deal With Adversity

If you took a quick poll, most parents would say that uninterrupted time for free, open-ended play – digging in the dirt, building with blocks, painting a portrait, exploring the great outdoors – is one of the most important gifts we can give our children. The benefits of childhood play and creativity are widely recognized and backed by research: play lowers stress, increases social ability, and strengthens those parts of the brain responsible for productive thinking, planning, and making good choices. Play makes kids more successful adults. And yet, the majority of parents lament that their children are overbooked and family life is just too busy – nobody has the time!

In this exciting look at the latest research on how kids’ brains actually develop from the bottom up, Georgie Wisen-Vincent, LMFT RPT-S, Managing Director at the Center for Connection Play Strong Institute, explains how parent-child play creates a life-long template for mental and emotional strength and resilience. It’s how we play with our kids – not how much – that gives children a natural advantage against the hard stuff as confident, competent, creative thinkers who are better prepared to step up to life’s curveballs – calm in the storm, able to observe and describe their emotions, try on flexible perspectives, act on their own initiative, and experiment with new solutions until the problem’s solved.

The Play Strong Model, developed by Georgie Wisen-Vincent and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson, PhD., New York Times bestselling co-author of The Whole Brain Child parenting book series, offers parents key strategies to boost your child’s emotional immune system so they can face the inevitable ups and downs of growing up feeling brave, optimistic, and solution focused. In this fun and highly interactive training, you’ll learn the science of play, how playful attunement activates the brain and shapes the child’s developing mind, and why socially engaged play should be our first line of defense against stressful, and even traumatic, childhood experiences.

You’ll also discover how Play Strong strategies can move us toward more resilient parenting, able to calmly “respond instead of react” to our kids, extending into our most important roles as parents and teachers. Using play as preventative medicine, we can support children in developing the brain power to counteract many types of typical childhood stressors and the challenging behaviors that sometimes arise out of these stressful moments.

Wednesday October 23, 2019 at The Gant Conference Center
PlayStrong for CLINICIANS and EDUCATORS
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PlayStrong: A Neurodevelopmental Approach to Play that Builds Emotional Regulation and Resilience to Help Children Handle Stress, Anxiety, and Trauma

The PlayStrong Model is heavily informed by the latest neuroscience research that tells us how trauma impacts the young child’s developing brain, along with the kinds of positive relationship experiences children need to rewire healthy connections and provide a protective layer of resilience, or “Trauma Teflon”.

Developed by Georgie Wisen-Vincent, LMFT RPT-S and Dr. Tina Payne Bryson, PhD., New York Times bestselling co-author of The Whole Brain Child parenting book series, we have designed an exciting new way to harness play as a force for emotional learning, a process that relies primarily on non-verbal interaction, to teach brain-wise strategies that reduce behavioral flare-ups and protect parents, teachers and children from the negative effects of chronic stress and difficult trauma stories.

In this highly interactive training presented by Georgie Wisen-Vincent, LMFT RPT-S, Managing Director of the Center for Connection Play Strong Institute, you’ll learn the science of play and how play builds the child’s healthy developing brain from “back to front, bottom-up”. We’ll also take a look at how mounting levels of stress can interrupt patterns of strong emotional development and the bonds of attachment between children and adults. You’ll see many examples – through stories, video clips and live demos – of how the PlayStrong Model invites children of all ages (including teens!) to explore and interact in play, along with their parents, in order to create healthy and secure parent-child bonds and boost stress recovery and resilience.

You’ll also discover why our neuro-relational approach to working with kids and teens is so unique and how to apply it to your own work: holistic, strength-based, highly encouraging, relationship-focused, and emotionally innovative. We will teach you to keep your own brain in mind, too, as you move kids and families from reactivity to resilience, nurture children’s growing brains, or help parents make the shift from problem to solution focus – so they can raise happier, healthier kids who thrive.

Learning Objectives

After the workshop participants will be able to:

1) Describe 3 PlayStrong principles connecting theory to practice from a neurorelational model of play-based interaction.

2) Recognize at least 3 tools and materials necessary to use with children in order to provide PlayStrong interventions that improve neural functioning.

3) Utilize at least 6 strategies of the PlayStrong relationship to provide the optimal conditions for therapeutic or educational challenge and growth.

4) Recognize and apply at least 4 types of PlayStrong responses to build emotional resilience and further a child’s emotional regulation.

5) Identify and recognize 3 aspects of how family/social context impacts implementation of PlayStrong techniques. 

6) Compare and contrast at least 2 advantages of neurodevelopmental PlayStrong interventions versus traditional behavioral methods for working with children who have experienced extreme stress or trauma.