Franc Hudspeth, Ph.D., LPC-S (AR & MS), NCC, ACS, RPT-S, R.Ph. on Friday, January 27, 2023

Neuroscience Informed Play Therapy: Models and Applications

Registration Is Full.


Neuroscience research provides ample evidence of neurochemical and brain structural changes caused by mental health issues that result in cognitive, affective, and behavioral dysregulation. Aside from a handful of recent articles, little is known about the actual impact of play therapy on brain structures and neurobiology. However, it is reasonable to extrapolate information, from neuroscience research, to inform best practices within play therapy. It is also possible to review neuroscience research as we hypothesize how play therapy is beneficial. As such, we learn that neurobiologically-informed, relationally focused, play therapy treatments include building on safety and security of caregivers and community, being developmentally sensitive, and addressing affective-behavioral dysregulation.

This workshop will provide an overview of neurobiology, neurotransmitters, and brain functioning, describe neurobiologically-informed play therapy, and postulate the interaction between play therapy and developmental neurobiology. As a result, attendees will have a better understanding of how to incorporate neuroscience research into their play therapy practice as well as examine the theoretical models of play therapy that have been aligned to neuroscience principles.

Learning Objectives

  1. Discuss basic neurobiology, neurotransmitters, and brain functioning
  2. Describe what is meant by neurobiologically-informed play therapy
  3. Hypothesize the reciprocal interaction between neurobiology and Play Therapy
  4. Explore how to incorporate neuroscience research into play therapy practice
  5. Evaluate the components of neurobiologically-informed, relationally-focused, play therapy treatments 
  6. Examine which theoretical models of play therapy have been aligned to neuroscience principles


Franc is Chair and Associate Professor of Counselor Education at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. He is Editor of the International Journal of Play Therapy, Co-Editor of the Journal of Military and Government Counseling as well as an editorial board member for the Journal of Creativity in Mental Health and The Professional Counselor. He serves as Past-President of the Association for Creativity in Counseling and President-Elect of the Military and Government Counseling Association. He received his PhD, in Counselor Education & Supervision, from the University of Mississippi in 2009. He has been a Registered Pharmacist since 1989 and a Licensed Professional Counselor since 2004. His writing and research interests include creative applications in mental health, telemental health ethical and legal issues, neuroscience influences on play therapy, trauma’s impact on brain development, and psychopharmacology.


Workshop Session I8:30-10:00
Morning Break10:00-10:15
Workshop Session II10:15-12:00
Lunch Break12:00-12:45
AAPT Annual Membership Meeting12:45-1:00
Workshop Session III1:00-2:30
Afternoon Break 2:30-2:45
Workshop Session IV 2:45-4:00
All Times are CST

Continuing Education Credit

Six Contact Hours will be awarded for a full day of attendance.  

Counselors:  Alabama Association for Play Therapy (AAPT) has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6211.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are identified.  Alabama Association for Play Therapy is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Marriage and Family Therapists: The Alabama Board of Examiners in Marriage and Family Therapy (ABEMFT) automatically approves courses that are NBCC approved for CE credit. 

Play Therapists: AAPT is approved by the Association for Play Therapy (APT) to offer continuing education specific to play therapy. APT Approved Provider No. 98-045.   

Social Workers: AAPT is approved by the Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners (ASBSWE) to offer continuing education to social workers. ASBSWE Provider No. 0284. 

Registration Fees:

(until Nov. 30)
(Dec 1 – Jan20)
On-Site Registration
(January 27th)
AAPT/APT Member$125$145$160
Non-Member $155$175$190
Full-Time Student
(with proof of enrollment)
Space is not Guaranteed Until Your Registration is Processed.

**REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS Friday, January 20th, 2023**


Group Discount:

A discount of $10.00 per registrant for groups of 3 or more registering together. When registering a group online, please register all group members at one time using the add additional attendee link that appears at the end of the registration. Check or money order only if registering by mail. Credit Cards accepted if registering online. No purchase orders accepted.


Scholarships to attend the AAPT workshop will be offered to full-time students who volunteer to be available Thursday evening, January 26th and all-day Friday, January 27th to assist with the conference. Volunteer duties may involve working registration, assisting with setup prior to the event, cleaning up after the event, selling books for the presenter, and preparing materials for the workshop. Students interested in volunteering for the event should contact Alicia Spomer at and submit proof of enrollment in a counseling or related program (SW, MFT, etc). 

Location: Bruno Conference Center at St. Vincent’s in Birmingham

Special Needs:

Please contact CE & Registration at, Registration & CE Coordinator


Registrants canceling up to 48 hours before a workshop will receive a tuition refund less a $20 administrative fee (per day). All requests must be made in writing or by email. No refunds will be issued for any reason after January 24, 2023.  In the unlikely event, the workshop cannot be held, registrants will receive complimentary admission to a rescheduled workshop or a full value voucher, good for one year, for a future workshop.

Membership Information:

To join the Association for Play Therapy’s click here.

 Register Now to secure your spot!

Sign up to receive emails from AAPT so you can stay up-to-date with all the news and announcements from AAPT!