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Dealing With Trauma

The Healing Powers of Play

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Dealing With Trauma: The Healing Powers of Play

Presenter: Marcy Guddemi

Children have a hardwired mechanism to deal with trauma. It's play! In particular, pretend/dramatic play. Play is the child's first language and it is how a child learns about the world. Play is the expression of the child's most inner thoughts and deepest emotions; and, the more a child plays, the deeper the feelings that are revealed.

Pretend/dramatic play is healing and cathartic for the child. By reenacting a trauma repeatedly, the child is afforded the opportunity to work through the trauma, make sense of what is happening, and gain power over his/her emotions and the situation. This type of play increases coping skills and self-regulation which can then be transferred to other relationships and situations.

This session will explore the different types of play emphasizing the characteristics of mature pretend play. The session will help teachers to recognize the overt symptoms of trauma displayed in the classroom and at home. It will also explain why play is cathartic and how to assist children to reach that highest, healing level of play.

Marcy Guddemi, PhD, MBA, National Consultant, is widely recognized as an expert in early education, learning through play, and developmental assessment. As former Executive Director of the Gesell Institute of Child Development at Yale, Dr. Guddemi led her team "promoting the principles of child development in all decision-making for young children." She's held teaching positions at the University of South Carolina, University of South Florida, and SW Texas State University. In the private sector, she held corporate positions at KinderCare (VP), CTB/McGraw-Hill, Harcourt, and Pearson. Guddemi is an active member and officer of the American Affiliate of the International Play Association and Advisory Board Member for Let's Play America.

Register to watch the recording below.

Marcy Guddemi
Marcy Guddemi