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Meet the Presenter

Franc Hudspeth, PhD, LPC-S (AR & MS), NCC, ACS, RPT-S, RPh

Franc has been a counselor educator for almost 14 years, has over 20 years of experience working in the mental health field, and over 30 years of experience as a pharmacist. He has spent much of his counselor education career designing and leading online counseling programs. Franc is Editor of the International Journal of Play Therapy and Co-Editor of the Journal of Military and Government Counseling. He serves as Secretary of Board Directors for the Association for Play Therapy, Past-President of the Association for Creativity in Counseling, and President-Elect of the Military and Government Counseling Association and is a registered Play Therapist Supervisor. He is Associate Professor, Department Chair, and Program Director-Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Sacred Heart University. His writing and research interests include play therapy, neuroethics, trauma’s impact on brain development, psychopharmacology, and neuroscience influences on counseling.

Thursday Full-Day Presentation:

Addressing the Impact of Bullying from a Complex Trauma Perspective by Utilizing Neurobiologically-Informed Play Therapy (6 hours)


Bullying is overt/covert, and repetitive. As such, bullying should be conceptualized as complex, developmental trauma and be addressed with Neurobiologically-Informed Play Therapy that includes: building on the safety and security of caregivers and community, being developmentally sensitive, addressing affective- behavioral dysregulation.


  1. Understand what is meant by “neurobiologically-informed play therapy”.
  2. Describe the characteristics of complex and/or developmental trauma and be able to identify the neurobiological changes associated with complex trauma (viz., bullying). 
  3. Discuss the components of evidence based, relationally-focused, play therapy treatments and incorporate aspects of these treatments into their play therapy practice.
  4. Assess the level and type of complex trauma caused by varying durations of bullying.
  5. Determine the play therapy course of action (frequency & length), based on assessment results, to address the complex trauma.
  6. Develop play therapy treatment plans that address the issues arising from bullying.

Friday Full-Day Presentation:

The Disruptive Child in Play Therapy: Conceptualizing and Treating Disruptions from All Angles (6 hours) 


Currently the  DSM-5-TR (APA, 2022) recognizes numerous childhood diagnoses that may include disruptive behavioral symptoms. Disruptive behaviors may range from impulsivity, fidgeting, and restlessness to defiance, tantrums, and aggressiveness to bullying, fighting, and deceitfulness. Regardless of the displayed behavior, we can address the core issues with play therapy. In this workshop, we will discuss disruptive symptoms, valuable assessments, DSM-5-TR diagnoses, core neurobiology, use of medication, and developmentally appropriate applications of play therapy skills and techniques.


  1. Compare the commonalities amongst disruptive symptom
  2. Conceptualize how neurobiology, play therapy, and regulation are interconnected.
  3. Assess the severity of disruptive symptoms in play therapy
  4. Review medications commonly used to treat disruptive symptoms
  5. Select play therapy interventions that can be utilized to address disruptive behaviors and bring about regulation
  6. Develop individualized play therapy treatment plans for dysregulated children and adolescents