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Session 411: Polyvagal Puppet Play - Neuroscience, EMDR, and Ception PuppetsTM Fun!


Through an integrative theoretical framework, participants will be invited explore the Neuroception of Safety from a deeply creative level through an innovative and playful integration of EMDR and the Polyvagal theory. The “Ceptions” (Neuroception, Proprioception, Interoception , Exteroception, Nocioception) will be introduced through the power of Puppet Play Therapy, and participants will learn how to increase client’s mind-body awareness and monitor/reduce the distress response (SUDS) through their use. By integrating foundational EMDR knowledge with cutting-edge neuroscience, participants will create their own set of Ception PuppetsTM and learn how they fit within the AIP model and the 3-pronged protocol, and how to blend them throughout all 8-phases of EMDR. This integration is particularly helpful with children during the history taking, preparation, assessment, and body scan phases to teach clients how to identify their arousal states, and how to become detectives of their own nervous systems.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to articulate the five “Ceptions” and demonstrate how puppet play therapy can be utilized to explore, monitor, and modulate the nervous system of clients throughout the 8 phases of EMDR.
  2. Participants will be able to describe and apply the 8 phases of the standard EMDR therapy 3-pronged protocol as integrated with Polyvagal Theory and Puppet Play Therapy when working with children and adolescent clients.
  3. Participants will be able to identify 3 key aspects of the neuroception of safety and its importance in EMDR applications when working with children who have experienced complex trauma.


Topic: Children / Adolescents


CE Hours: 3


  • Dora Henderson, LMHC, RPTS, CIT, CST

    Dora Henderson, LMHC-QS, RPT-S is a certified EMDR clinician and EMDRIA Consultant-in-Training, specializing in utilizing EMDR with play therapy. Dora is the owner of A Safe Place Counseling in Florida. Her passion is working with children, teens and adults who have experienced trauma, walking by their sides as they make their way through their healing journey. Dora is a sought-after consultant and trainer, speaking on topics such as bibliotherapy, resiliency, and the application of neuroscience in child-friendly language. Additionally, her creativity has brought The Adventures of Sandi and Clammy puppets and books to life!

September 18, 2022
Sun 12:30 PM CDT

Duration 3H 30M

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