Helping therapists cultivate the confidence to lean into dysregulation in the play room, using movement, rhythm, and sensory play to heal trauma from the bottom up.

Feb. 21 & 22, 2020

Northwest Arkansas

Engaging the Body in Play Therapy


Children who have experienced complex developmental trauma often present with unusual behaviors- both in and out of the play therapy room.  This workshop will help play therapists feel comfortable leaning into nervous system dysregulation, reframing misbehavior as opportunities to soothe the limbic system through "bottom up" body-based play therapy techniques involving movement, rhythm, and sensory play.


This innovative training will guide the attendees through the most current neuroscience research (including Bruce Perry, MD, Bessel van der Kolk, MD, Stephen Porges, MD, Peter Levine, PhD, and Daniel Siegel, MD) and demonstrate how to put theory into practice.  Examples of creative ways to use movement, rhythm and sensory play in play therapy to shift the child’s emotional state, maintain regulation, and renegotiate traumatic associations without overwhelming the client will be explained and demonstrated. Participants will learn a framework (based on the Alert Program and Zones of Regulation) to help children develop the capacity to monitor (notice) and modify (change) their state of regulation or dysregulation.


This training will include didactic and experiential learning; participants should dress comfortably and be prepared to move and play.  Activities will allow the participants to experience ways to incorporate music and movement into the play therapy process with children. Attendees will leave this training with practical tools, strategies and applications that enhance the client’s capacity to connect with others, process trauma without becoming overwhelmed, and facilitate healing.


Intentionally engaging the body through movement, rhythm, and sensory play provides valuable practice coming back into a regulated state from a dysregulated state, deepens connection and attunement between therapist and client, models for the parent how to help their child through dysregulation, brings high level brain functions back online, and enhances learning.  Movement, rhythm, and sensory play also provides clients another medium to express their inner experience while connected to a regulated, attuned therapist, allowing for integration and a renegotiation of implicitly held trauma. Attendees will be able to use movement, rhythm, and sensory play in play therapy in a purposeful way that leads to more enjoyment in their play therapy sessions and works toward therapist goals of improved regulation and ultimately trauma healing.

CLICK HERE to register!


  1. Attendees will be able to explain the importance of working through a client's dysregulation in the play therapy room with connection and attunement instead of limits and consequences.

  2. Attendees will be able to define sensory integration and understand how this relates to regulation.

  3. Attendees will demonstrate how to incorporate movement, rhythm, and sensory play into their play therapy process to help their client become more regulated in and out of session.

  4. Attendees will demonstrate how to help clients expand their skills in noticing, tracking, and tolerating sensation.

  5. Attendees will be able to apply a system to teach children through play therapy to monitor (notice) and modify (change) their inner state.  

  6. Attendees will be able to create play therapy treatment plans based on viewing challenging behavior as dysregulation of the nervous system as opposed to misbehavior.

  7. Attendees will identify ways to approach play therapy assessment and treatment planning through a developmental,  neurosequential approach.

  8. Attendees will be able to demonstrate ways to invite the hypo- and hyper-aroused nervous system back into the window of tolerance using movement, rhythm, and sensory play in the play therapy room.

  9. Attendees will assess how the person-of-the-therapist impacts utilizing body-based play therapy techniques, such as movement, rhythm, and sensory play.  

  10. Attendees will demonstrate the ability track play therapy themes that are expressed through movement, rhythm, and sensory play.

  11. Attendees will be able to identify why it is important to engage parents through parent coaching and/or family play therapy sessions.  

Workshop Attendees will receive:

  • Flip book (PDF) of all the movement and music activities we learn and practice in the workshop (and more!!!).  Developed by Robyn Gobbel, LCSW, RPT-S

  • Flip book (PDF) with clear instructions for all the games used to teach a system to monitor and modify states of arousal.  Developed by Robyn Gobbel, LCSW

  • A Trauma Informed Approach to Behaviors in the Classroom- 10 page letter-to-the-teacher (PDF) 

  • Resource list of commonly used movement and music based props and products

  • Adjunct and optional reading

Participants from previous workshops reported that the Flip Books (created by Robyn Gobbel, LCSW, LMSW, RPT-S) were an extremely valuable resource.

CLICK HERE to register!


See registration page for full details!


Waters Edge Counseling

204 S. 24th St.

Rogers, AR 72758


$350 (early bird) through January 20, 2020

$395 after January 20, 2020

Cancellation Policy

See registration page for details

Target Audience

This intermediate/advanced level workshop is appropriate for licensed and pre-licensed mental health professionals, including psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional counselors.  


See registration page for details!


CLICK HERE to register!


Robyn Gobbel, LCSW, LMSW, RPT-S

Robyn Gobbel, LCSW, LMSW, RPT-S specializes in complex trauma, attachment, and adoption.  Robyn’s diverse clinical training includes EMDR (including EMDR adapted for children with attachment trauma), Somatic Experiencing, and Theraplay.  She is a Trust Based Relational Intervention® Educator and a Circle of Security Parent Educator. Robyn is a dedicated student of attachment theory and Interpersonal Neurobiology, studying extensively with Bonnie Badenoch, PhD.  She is trained in The Alert Program® and has completed Yogapeutics Aerial Yoga Level 1 Teacher Training.  Robyn is on the instructional team of the Portland State University/Oregon DHS Adoptive & Foster Family Therapy Certificate Program as we all the Portland Community College Foundations of Interpersonal Neurobiology Certificate Program.  She is a working board member for the Global Association for Interpersonal Neurobiology Studies (GAINS).  

CLICK HERE to register!

What attendees have said!

...Great resources, good balance of lecture and experiential and the handouts provided afterwards are AMAZING. One of the best I've attended in a while...

...Robyn was engaging, practical and thorough creating a very effective and hands on learning experience that can be utilized immediately in a therapeutic session. Resources and copies of the presentation shared with the attendees was much appreciated...

...I cannot think of any way she could have made it better. It was the best training I have been to in a long time...

...This was one of the most useful (and fun) workshops I have attended in a long time!

...Robyn's style of explanation is a true gift. Combined with the experiential activities the training was fantastic. It took all of my favorite things about therapy and theory and combined them into something I now have words to use to articulate...

I enjoyed the entire training. Robyn was very open, honest and genuine in delivering this training. I am a very hands on / auditory learner. So this training was exceptional for myself. I also appreciate all of the resources, flip books and opportunity to try the various activities. THANK YOU ROBYN!!



Do I have to be a play therapist? I work with kids but am not a play therapist.

    No way!!!  This training is for ANYONE who works with children in a therapeutic setting!  You definitely do not need to be a play therapist to benefit from this training!

Is this training only about complex trauma?

    No! Complex trauma is my area of expertise but this training will benefit any therapist who works with children with regulation difficulties OR with children who are highly kinestetic, physically active, and sensory seeking.  

I need to leave early/arrive late/miss some part of the training.  Is this OK?

    This is a highly interactive, experiential training.  You'll work closely with other participants and your presence matters!!  Please make arrangements to attend the training in it's entirety.

    No partial CEs will be awarded. You must attend the entire training in order to receive CEs.

I don't live in Northwest Arkansas- can you help me with travel and accommodations?

    For sure! Hotel accomodations are suggested on the registration page HERE.

What will this training be like?

    I pay close attention to the training experience I create for attendees by:

  • limiting the number of participants

  • creating opportunities for attendees to connect with each other and establish felt-safety

  • supporting your body needs though breaks, snacks, and movement.

Will I be able to easily implement the ideas I learn?


    YES!!!!  We will have plenty of time to allow for integration and application!  We will practice together and you'll develop a felt-sense of the different interventions.  

    You will receive access to an electronic folder FULL of resources, including two flip-books that contain all the activities we learn.  Past participants have stated that these resources added a lot of value to the workshop and supported their confidence in implementing the new ideas.  


Training Sponsored by:

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​© 2015 Robyn Gobbel, LCSW

Gobbel Counseling