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mindfulness in the deepest sense. My intention to witness Jeffrey's push toward wholeness with acceptance and equanimity activated parallel neural circuitry in his brain. The resonance cir- cuits that tie us together mean that my calm state of mind supported his steadi- ness through even the most difficult parts of the process. In this often-word- less communication of safety, he viscer- ally experienced that whatever he creat- ed, beautiful or grotesque, I would remain present. That realization freed

his creative urge to bring form to the formless (or in neuroscience terms, the implicit to the explicit).

Sometimes it is a little scary when images emerge that we don't under- stand, or when the images created in the art-making process touch our own implicit memories. However, if we are able to stay in a mindful state, with our limbic and middle prefrontal circuits well connected, we will be able to hold these momentary upsets within our- selves and remain steady with our clients.


Healing Experiences with Sandplay, Art, and Clay

Bonnie Badenoch, PhD, LMFT and Theresa Kestly, PhD

Daytona Beach, Florida - May 6-7, 2010 Laguna Beach, California - November 18-19, 2010

Conference Description: In this conference, we will have a conversation about how the principles of interpersonal neurobiology impact the play therapy rela- tionship, beginning with some basic brain science that is fundamental to this specific relationship. Then we will plunge into the profound world of sandplay, art and clay, discovering how understanding the neuroscience that supports these experiential paths can reduce suffering while deepening the healing experience. We will use clay and art materials to gain a deeper understanding of how the implicit and explicit memory systems impact our play therapy deci- sions, moment by moment, as we work with clients of all ages and diagnoses. On this foundation, we can begin to bring the brain awareness into the play therapy room, in practical ways that strengthen emotional balance and foster hope for both client and therapist. We will use self-reflection, conversation, and case studies to make this learning more concrete as we discuss applications for play therapy. At the end of the two days, you may find that one of the most surprising outcomes of encountering this deep science is a remarkable increase in compassion for self and others.

Conference Goals: The conference will help participants to:

  • Apply the knowledge of basic brain structure and function as well as the processes of early brain development to play therapy practice.

  • Apply the understanding of implicit, explicit, and autobiographical memory with clients as they use art, clay, and sandplay therapy materials.

  • Understand how to foster neuroplasticity in play therapy.

  • Learn how to integrate mindfulness into play therapy practice.

  • Apply the principles of interpersonal neurobiology to play therapy.

Conference Fees: $250 Early Tuition, postmarked 30 days in advance $270 Regular Tuition $230/$250 Student Discount (with proof of full-time status)

Registration: See registration form, page 5






More Neuroscience Detail

For further study of the neuro- science terminology and concepts that I have used here in this brief article, the following references may be help- ful. I am personally grateful for the rapid development of interpersonal neurobiology over the last decade because it has opened a new vista in my work with clients.

Theresa Kestl , Ph.D.


Badenoch, B. (2008). Being a brain- wise therapist: A practical guide to inter- personal neurobiology. New York: W.W.

Norton. Cozolino,





Neuroscience of Psychotherapy, 2nd Ed. New York: W. W. Norton.

Jung, C. G. (1916/58). The transcendent function. Collected works, Vol. 8. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Siegel, D.J. (1999). The developing mind: Toward a neurobiology of inter- personal experience. New York: The Guilford Press.

Siegel, D.J. & Hartzell, M. (2003). Parenting from the inside out. New York: Penguin Putnam.

Siegel, D.J. (2007). The mindful brain: Reflection and attunement in the cultiva- tion of well-being. New York: W.W. Norton.

Siegel, D.J. (2010). Mindsight: The new science of personal transformation. New York: Bantam Books.

Siegel, D.J. (in press). The mindful ther- apist: A clinician's guide to mindsight and neural integration.

Photo Note: The adolescent photographed for this newsletter is not a patient. His parents gave permission to use the photographs to repre- sent the process of working with nonverbal modalities in therapy.



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