Most Requested Programs

Featured Speaker: Georgie Wisen-Vincent, LMFT RPT-S

Georgie is frequently invited to keynote and present workshops for parents, clinicians, educators, community agencies, and businesses interested in becoming more playfully connected, brain-wise, and trauma-informed. She's especially good at bringing together the latest research and theory on raising innovative, solution-focused, creatively resilient kids who can weather emotional curveballs, bounce back from adversity, and enjoy life-long success.

Interested in contacting Georgie about a future speaking event?

Contact Georgie

Georgie Wisen-Vincent, LMFT RPT-S
Managing Director The Play Strong Institute
Meet Our Managing Director

Georgie Wisen-Vincent, LMFT RPT-S is the Managing Director and Head of Faculty for The Play Strong Institute, a continuing education and training organization for professionals and parents. She is a Teaching Professor in the Play Therapy Program at Loma Linda University and a Clinical Supervisor of Play Therapy Practicum at the Loma Linda Behavioral Health Institute.

Georgie has the distinction of earning a postgraduate Master’s Degree in Child Centered Play Therapy at the University of Roehampton, London, United Kingdom. She maintains a private practice working with children and families at The Center for Connection in Pasadena, CA, headed by Tina Payne Bryson, PhD, co-author with Daniel Siegel, MD, of The Whole Brain Child, No Drama Discipline, and The Yes Brain.

Georgie is a frequent speaker to parents and professional audiences on the topics of Play Therapy, Collaborative Parent-Child Play, and the Neuroscience of Play. She is also a Member of the British Association of Play Therapists and the American Association for Play Therapy.

Georgie's Most Requested Programs

PlayStrong: A Neurodevelopmental Approach to Play that Builds Resilience and Helps Children Deal With Adversity

If you took a quick poll, most parents would say that uninterrupted time for free, open-ended play – digging in the dirt, building with blocks, painting a portrait, exploring the great outdoors - is one of the most important gifts we can give our children. The benefits of childhood play and creativity are widely recognized and backed by research: play lowers stress, increases social ability, and strengthens those parts of the brain responsible for productive thinking, planning, and making good choices. Play makes kids more successful adults. And yet, the majority of parents lament that their children are overbooked and family life is just too busy - nobody has the time!

In this exciting look at the latest research on how kids’ brains actually develop from the bottom up, Georgie Wisen-Vincent, LMFT RPT-S, Managing Director and Lead Faculty at the Center for Connection Play Strong Institute, explains how parent-child play creates a life-long template for mental and emotional strength and resilience. It’s how we play with our kids – not how much – that gives children a natural advantage against the hard stuff as confident, competent, creative thinkers who are better prepared to step up to life’s curveballs – calm in the storm, able to observe and describe their emotions, try on flexible perspectives, act on their own initiative, and experiment with new solutions until the problem’s solved.

The Play Strong Model offers parents key strategies to boost your child’s emotional immune system so they can face the inevitable ups and downs of growing up feeling brave, optimistic, and solution focused. In this fun and highly interactive training, you’ll learn the science of play, how playful attunement activates the brain and shapes the child’s developing mind, and why socially engaged play should be our first line of defense against stressful, and even traumatic, childhood experiences.

You’ll also discover how Play Strong strategies can move us toward more resilience ourselves, able to calmly “respond instead of react” to our kids, extending into our most important roles as parents and teachers. Using play as preventative medicine, we can support children in developing the brain power to counteract many types of typical childhood stressors and the challenging behaviors that sometimes arise out of these stressful moments.

The PlayStrong Approach for Clinicians: Innovative Strategies in Play that Build Children's Resilience to Deal with Stress, Anxiety, and Trauma

The PlayStrong Model is heavily informed by the latest neuroscience research that tells us how trauma impacts the young child’s developing brain, along with the kinds of positive relationship experiences children need to rewire healthy connections and provide a protective layer of “Trauma Teflon”.

Developed by Georgie Wisen-Vincent, LMFT RPT-S, Dr. Tina Payne Bryson, PhD., co-author of The Whole Brain Child, and our team of experts including psychologists, infant mental health specialists, occupational and play therapists, we have designed a way to harness play as a force for emotional learning, a process that relies primarily on non-verbal interaction, to teach brain-wise strategies that reduce behavioral flare-ups and protect parents and children from the negative effects of chronic stress and difficult trauma stories.

In this intimate and interactive group training, you’ll learn the science of play and how play builds the child’s healthy developing brain from “back to front, bottom-up”. We’ll also take a look at how family trauma can interrupt patterns of strong emotional development and the early bonds of attachment. You’ll see tons of examples – through stories, video clips and live demos – of how The PlayStrong Model invites infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children (ages birth to 12 years) to explore and interact in play, along with their parents, in order to create healthy and secure parent-child bonds and boost trauma recovery and resilience.

You’ll also discover why our neuro-relational approach to working with clients is so unique and how to apply it to your own practice: holistic, strength-based, highly encouraging, relationship-focused, and emotionally innovative. We will teach you to keep your own brain in mind, too, as you move families from reactivity to resilience, nurture children’s growing brains, and help parents make the shift from problem to solution focus – so they can raise happier, healthier kids who thrive.

Creative Parents, Resilient Kids

In our modern adult-driven world, we are spending millions of dollars a year on the latest new toys and electronics, screen-based games and videos, and school STEM projects in a bigger push for academics to save the planet. But it may not be totally effective to take a top-down, adult-led approach to train modern kids for a modern society. It’s probably no coincidence that we are also seeing up surges in the rates of stress and anxiety in children, even as young as kindergarten, as they are being asked to give up a wider range of creative abilities to focus on homework demands and more structured activities. What’s a good parent to do to then, when we want our children to succeed and flourish in an increasingly modern society, but also find time to nurture their creative minds and protect them from rising amounts of stress as they go forth?

Believe it or not, play is nature’s well-designed research and development program to ensure survival of the species. As a parent or a caring professional, you can make a huge contribution to help this new generation become social and emotional innovators in as little as ten minutes a day! It’s how we approach kids as "experience experts" that gives children a natural advantage as confident, competent, creative thinkers who are better prepared to step up to life’s curveballs – calm in the storm, able to observe and describe their emotions, try on flexible perspectives, act on their own initiative, and experiment with new solutions until the problem is solved. The Play Strong Model offers parents and professionals key bottom-up learning strategies to avoid behavioral flare-ups, erase anxiety, and collaborate with children to ease and eliminate the daily struggle.

In this unique training on emotional innovation, Georgie Wisen-Vincent, LMFT RPT-S, Managing Director and Lead Faculty at the Center for Connection Play Strong Institute, will guide you through the science of play, how playful attunement activates the brain and shapes the child’s developing mind, and why socially engaged play should be our first line of defense against stressful, and even traumatic, childhood experiences. With a few simple strategies up your sleeve, you will learn to inspire real success in ways that will increase their enthusiasm, build creative resilience, and really impress the kids you care for!

The Trauma Resilient Classroom

In this modern digital age, a new generation of children seem far more interested in the latest new electronic toys, screen-based games, fast-paced videos, and social media, rather than heading outside to play “until the streetlights come on”. The latest research shows that we are also seeing up surges in the rates of stress and anxiety in children, even as young as kindergarten, as they are spending more time per day on screens and giving up a wider range of creative abilities, movement and exercise, and social skillfulness in the real world. Throw learning differences, poor attention, sensory issues, family changes, or major trauma into the mix, and teachers are feeling the weight of caring for students who need more than your typical classroom can realistically offer. What’s a good teacher to do to then, when we want our students to succeed and flourish in an increasingly modern society, but also find time to nurture their creative minds and protect them from rising amounts of stress as they go forth?

Using the Trauma Resilient Play Strong Model for the Classroom as a guide, you can make a huge contribution to help this new generation become social and emotional innovators in as little as ten minutes a day! It’s how we approach kids as "experience experts" that gives children a natural advantage as confident, competent, creative thinkers who are better prepared to step up to life’s curveballs – calm in the storm, able to observe and describe their emotions, try on flexible perspectives, act on their own initiative, and experiment with new solutions until the problem is solved. The Play Strong Model offers early childhood and K-6 educators key bottom-up learning strategies to understand how children react from different brain states to help teachers avoid behavioral flare-ups, erase anxiety, and collaborate with students to ease and eliminate daily struggles.

In this unique training on emotional innovation, Georgie Wisen-Vincent, LMFT RPT-S, Managing Director and Lead Faculty at the Center for Connection Play Strong Institute, will teach you the science of play, how playful attunement activates the brain and shapes the child’s developing mind, and how we can keep teacher-student interactions in the creative green zone of receptivity and cultivate a trauma resilient classroom. With a few simple strategies up your sleeve, you will learn to inspire student success in ways that will increase their enthusiasm, build creative resilience, and really impress the students you care for!