Play and Trauma: Theme and Variation

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Training Details

Event Dates and Timeframe
June 7, 2021 11am - 12:30pm AKDT | June 21, 2021 11am - 12:30pm AKDT
Day 1:
Monday, June 7, 2021
Day 2:
Monday, June 21, 2021
Location and Delivery Method
Delivery Method
Video Conferencing
Cost Range

Host And Instructor

New York City Early Childhood Mental Health Training & Technical Assistance Center
Gilbert M. Foley, Ed.D., IMH-E and Erica Willheim, Ph.D.


Contact Hours: 1.50

Training Overview Description


Play is the language of young children. It is their spontaneous and powerful, but often coded, medium of expression. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) hold the potential to derail development in course and quality, including play. In this two-part presentation, we will examine typical play and the manner in which early childhood trauma exposure may impact play.

The first webinar will explore the fundamentals of play in typical development including: the definition and functions of play, the expectable developmental pathway of play, the attributes and distinct significance of symbolic play, and the role of play in promoting sensory and emotion regulation. We will additionally explore the variations that emerge in posttraumatic play in juxtaposition to the expectable features of play in sequence, theme, constriction, and defense.

In the second webinar will delve into the use of play as a therapeutic modality including: foundational principles of play therapy, the variations employed when working with traumatic play material, and the differences between individual and dyadic interventions. Case-based learning will be used to supplement our understanding.

NOTE: The date for part 2 is Monday, June 21, 2021 and the registration link is included in this announcement!


Gilbert M. Foley, Ed.D., IMH-E serves as Consulting Clinical Psychologist at the New York Center for Child Development (NYCCD) in New York City and Clinical C0- Director of the New York City Early Childhood Mental Health Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC): a collaboration between the NYC Office of Mental Health, NYCCD and McSilver Institute, New York University. He is Director Emeritus of the graduate program in Infant Mental Health and Developmental Practice at the Adelphi University, a US Department of Education awarded Personnel Preparation Program. He is a senior faculty member of Profectum (DIR) Academy and is Endorsed as an Infant Mental Health/ Clinical Mentor, Level IV. Dr. Foley serves on the editorial review board of the Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy and had served on the editorial review boards of the Journals of Developmental Processes and Infant and Early Childhood Psychology. He is a retired tenured faculty member of Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology (Yeshiva University) where he taught for 20 years in the Department of School-Clinical Child Psychology and coordinated the infancy-early childhood track. As Senior Clinical Supervisor in the Department of Pediatrics at NYU School of Medicine-Bellevue Hospital Center, he was an innovator in the technique of reflective supervision. Visit Gilbert Foley, Ed.D. for more information on his professional background.

Erica Willheim, Ph.D., is Research Assistant Professor at the Child Study Center in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, an instructor on the faculty of the Institute for Parenting at Adelphi University, and a nationally endorsed trainer in Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), an attachment and trauma informed evidence-based treatment model for children ages 0-5 who have experienced at least one traumatic event and/or are experiencing mental health, attachment, and behavioral problems.

Training Sponsor

The New York City Early Childhood Mental Health Training & Technical Assistance Center (NYC-TTAC) provides regular high quality training on early childhood mental health while supporting multiple initiatives in the NYC area. TTAC is operated by the New York Center for Child Development (NYCCD) in collaboration with the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. All of their past trainings are listed along with links to the training handouts and youtube recordings of the webinars.. All upcoming events can be found on their Events Page. Registration is easy and most offerings are free.

Competencies & Endorsement

This training will cover certain competencies required for Endorsement®. AK-AIMH administers the Endorsement® to recognize the attainment of professional competencies in working with children 0-3. For more information about Competencies® & Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health®, please visit AK-AIMH's website.

Contact Hours Information

Please note that each section of this training is worth 1.5 contact hours for a total of 3.0 contact hours.

Event-specific Details

The Alaska Association of Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health (AK-AIMH) has listed this training for the benefit of Alaska's professionals as part of our initiative Project Compass: Leading the Way to Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Workforce Development. Project Compass is funded by AK-AIMH members and donors, the Alaska Children's Trust, and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority. Visit Project Compass to learn more!

Registration Information

For more information and the link to register, please visit the TTAC's page on this event. You will receive a confirmation email that contains all the information needed to join the webinar.