Moving Toward Regulation Using Synergetic Play Therapy


  • Johanna Simmons West Vancouver, British Columbia


Children generally do not possess the complex, expressive language skills needed to communicate the struggles they are experiencing. In response to this, a variety of play therapy models have emerged. This article concentrates on the application of a research-informed model of play therapy delivery called synergetic play therapy (SPT), which combines interpersonal neurobiology, attachment theory, nervous system regulatory principles, mindfulness, physics, and the self of the therapist. By combining this model with child-centred play therapy (CCPT), the author draws on two case study examples to demonstrate the efficacy of the SPT model when it is coupled with CCPT. The findings and case studies suggest that this approach reduces the severity of identified behavioural concerns. Future investigations in this area are recommended given the gap in the literature regarding combining SPT and CCPT.

Author Biography

Johanna Simmons, West Vancouver, British Columbia

Johanna Simmons is a registered clinical counsellor, a play therapist registered in British Columbia, and a synergetic play therapy supervisor. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Adler University in Vancouver, where she teaches child development and counselling. She supervises pre-practicum students at the Adler Youth Clinic. She specializes in child counselling and play therapy.




How to Cite

Simmons, J. (2020). Moving Toward Regulation Using Synergetic Play Therapy. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 54(3), 242–258. Retrieved from



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