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Day One Childhood: Birth to 11 years old (give or take a few)

8:00 - 8:30 Introduction: Types of Development

  • Critical periods and vulnerabilities

  • Cultural Considerations: expectations across developmental periods can look different though there is always a moving towards responsibility for self and or others.

  • Emotional, Relational, Social 

  • Sensory, Physical: Large and small motor 

  • Cognitive, Language: Receptive and Expressive 

  • Sense of self in relation to self, others, and the world 

  • Spiritual, Moral, Ethical


8:30 - 10:30 Early Childhood: Birth – 5 years old - First 60 months on the Planet

  • Neurodevelopment

  • Attunement and Attachment 

  • Distress tolerance and Emotional regulation

  • Sensory Integration 

  • Receptive and Expressive Language

  • Sense of separate self

  • Empathy and Theory of Mind 

  • Importance of Play


10:30 - 11:30 Developmental Considerations in Therapy: Seeing the child in the Adolescent/Adult

  • Role/Real play and experiential


11:30 – 12:00 Lunch


1:00 – 3:00 Middle childhood: 5/6 – 10/11 years old – School Age

  • Neurodevelopment - Refinement and deepening of skills 

  • Relationships outside the family

  • Friendships with peers

  • Cognitive development: Increasing complexity from concrete to more complex ideas

  • Awareness of Self and Others 

  • Importance of Play

  • Ethical reasoning: Fairness and Caring about others 


3:00 – 4:00 Developmental Considerations in Therapy

  • Role/Real play - experiential

Day Two: Adolescence: 11 to 21(ish) years old

8:00 - 9:30 Early Adolescence: 11- 14/15 years – Toddlers in Bigger Bodies 

  • Neurology – Rewired for maximum reward from peers

  • Puberty and emerging sexuality

  • Distress Tolerance

  • Emotional Regulation

  • Identity: Who are my people and where do I belong

  • Relationships with peers, parents, adults, and authority

  • Cognitive and Language: Constantly shifting abilities from concrete to abstract

  • Ethical reasoning: Fairness/Rules and Social Participation

  • Importance of Play


9:30 - 10:00 Role/Real play


10:00 - 11:30 Social rejection/Bullying and Parenting Styles of Neglect

  • Impact of social exclusion/ostracism in early adolescence

  • Parenting styles of emotional under-attunement or Neglect

    • Permissive: High Warmth-Low limits, Over attending and Under attuning

    • Absent: Low Warmth-Low limits, Parent needs primary

    • Authoritarian: Low Warmth-High limits, Compliance primary 

    • Chaotic: Unpredictable Warmth-Unpredictable Limits Parent mood/dysregulation primary


11:30 – 12:00 Developmental Considerations in Therapy

Middle school gifts and vulnerabilities in older clients – Real/Role play and experientials


12:00 – 1:00 Lunch 


1:00 – 2:30 Late Adolescence: 15 - 19/21 years

  • Sexuality in Relationship

  • Individual identity: Who am I and where am I going

  • Abstract and critical thinking

  • Abstract Empathy  

  • Ethical reasoning: Justice and Beginning to balance care of self/other

  • Importance of Play


2:30 – 3:30 Developmental Considerations in Therapy

  • Role/real play Small group experiential


3:30 - 4:00 Questions, Cases, Considerations

Developmental Considerations In Therapy

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Future dates TBD

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand realms of typical development and the complex interplay between them throughout development. 

  2. Gain Familiarity with the characteristics of the three broad developmental periods and their sub-phases: Childhood, Adolescence, Emerging Adulthood

  3. Identify specific developmental tasks for each phase of development and the unique risks and vulnerabilities inherent therein

  4. Understand how developmental risk and protective factors from each phase impact vulnerability and resilience which informs how adults show up in life and therapy

  5. Integrate developmental information in case conceptualization and treatment planning

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