Do not be deceived by the name. Although Synergetic Play Therapy is a model of play therapy, it’s also referred to as a way of being in relationship with self and other. It’s an all-encompassing model whose principles can be applied to any facet of life. Synergetic Play Therapy is a research-informed model of play therapy combining the therapeutic powers of play with nervous-system regulation, interpersonal neurobiology, physics, attachment, mindfulness and therapist authenticity.
The Synergetic principles aims to replicate the delicate dance of attunement that occurs between a caregiver and a child. The Synergetic principles develop the caregivers’ ability to engage in mindfulness and model regulation of their own nervous system. This is the foundation for the child to learn how to manage his/her own nervous systems. The caregiver must work at the edge of the window of tolerance and the regulatory boundary of the dys-regulated states in them and in the child in order to expand those boundaries and re-pattern the disorganization in the nervous system. A core principal of the Synergetic model is the caregiver’s ability to be authentic and congruent in his or her expressions, coupled with the ability to model regulation through the crescendos and decrescendos in the client’s arousal system. This allows the caregiver to stay on the edge of the window of tolerance and serves as a catalyst for the re-patterning of the nervous system.
The Synergetic model use the neuro-science behind the transformation process and caregivers are able to work with a child in such a way that targets:
- Supporting the child in experiencing uncomfortable sensations, emotions and thoughts that are triggering dys-regulated behaviours. The result is that the child learns how to regulate and manage their internal worlds and in turn manage their behaviours better.
- Helping the child feel empowered while learning new and more effective ways of managing their own nervous systems.
- Teaching the child how to stay connected to themselves so that their authentic self emerges and their belief in self increases.