The Power of Play 2024 Conference

Playful Connections, Creative Arts Therapy and Polyvagal Theory

2 November 2024

We are thrilled to announce our 2024 Power of Play Conference promising a day packed full of theory and practical exploration.

Early Bird Tickets Available Now!

Discounts available for students and IPA members.
Please email [email protected] for details.

    This year’s theme, ‘Playful Connections, Creative Arts Therapy and Polyvagal Theory’ promises a day packed full of theory and practical exploration.

    Expect to deepen your understanding of the principles of Polyvagal Theory, supporting you to harness a greater insight into the nervous system, alongside practical tools and exercises to support regulation and connection in therapy.

    Participants will learn from expert Keynote speakers who will deliver insightful and engaging talks and round table exercises. In the afternoon, there will be an opportunity to select one of four practical workshops allowing you an experiential learning experience and opportunities to connect with other practitioners in the therapy community.

    After such a successful conference in 2023, we’re so excited for what this year has to bring to you and your practice. We look forward to seeing you there.

    This event will be independently accredited by the CPDSO.


    The event will start at 9.45am (registration from 9am) and will close at 5pm. Please see the conference programme for more details.

    All refreshments and materials will be included in the ticket price.


    We are pleased to offer a copy of Courtney Rolfe and Deb Dana’s new book, ‘Polyvagal Prompts’ at a special Clear Sky Conference Discount. Please order your copy with your ticket for collection and signing at the event.

    Sponsorship and Exhibition Stands

    We have a limited number of exhibition stands and sponsorship opportunities available. Please get in touch with us at [email protected] for more details.

    Our Power of Play Conference starts in...








    Who is this conference for?

    For therapists, counsellors, family practitioners, SENCOS, school mental health practitioners, trainees… anyone who is a childcare professional who works therapeutically and creatively with children and families.

    When and where?

    2 November 2024

    voco Oxford Spires Hotel
    Abingdon Road
    OX1 4PS

    Conference Programme

    ♦ 9.00am Registration

    ♦ 9.45am Welcome

    ♦ 10.00am Morning Keynote – Courtney Rolfe

    ♦ 11.30am Morning Break

    ♦ 11.45am Round Table Exercise – Courtney Rolfe

    ♦ 12.30pm Lunch

    ♦ 1.30pm Afternoon Keynote – Dr Dan Hughes

    ♦ 2.45pm Afternoon Break

    ♦ 3pm – Workshops with Ben Kingston-Hughes, Julie McCann and two more TBA.

    ♦ 4.30pm Evaluation and Close – Martyn ‘Eek’ Cooper


    Dan Hughes

    We are thrilled that Dan will be joining us via online live stream from across the globe.

    Dan Hughes, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who founded and developed Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP), the treatment of children who have experienced abuse and neglect and demonstrate ongoing problems related to attachment and trauma.  This treatment occurs in a family setting and the treatment model has expanded to become a general model of family treatment.   Dan has conducted seminars, workshops, and spoken at conferences throughout the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia for over 20 years.  He is also engaged in extensive training and supervision in the certification of therapists in his treatment model, along with ongoing consultation to various agencies and professionals.   He is the founder of DDPI a training Institute which is responsible for the certification of professionals in DDP.  Information about DDPI can be found on    Dan is the father of Megan, Kri, and Maddie and the grandfather of Alice and iver. 

     Dan now lives in Damariscotta, ME.  He has lived in Maine for most of his adult life.

    Dan is the author of many books and articles.  These include Building the Bonds of Attachment, 3rd Ed. (2017),  and, with Jon Baylin, Brain-Based Parenting (2012) and The Neurobiology of Attachment-Focused Therapy (2016).  Along with Kim Golding and Julie Hudson, Dan wrote Healing relational trauma with attachment-focused interventions: Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy with children and families (W.W. Norton, 2019).  Dan and Kim have since wrote a workbook to accompany Healing Relational Trauma.  It will be published in2024.  Dan and Ben Gurney-Smith have published The Little Book of Attachment (W.W.Norton, 2020).

    His website is


    Courtney Rolfe

    Courtney Rolfe, LCPC, is a licensed psychotherapist, speaker, and trainer passionate about bringing Polyvagal Theory to clinicians and wellness professionals across the globe. A leading expert in the Polyvagal Theory, and long standing senior trainer in Deb Dana’s Foundations of Polyvagal Practice course, Courtney’s passion lies in supporting and teaching clinicians, helping individuals and communities heal, and in living the model of navigating the world with a regulated nervous system. Courtney maintains a private practice based in Chicago, Illinois, but spends most of her time in Oxfordshire, UK. In addition to being a speaker and trainer, Courtney is co-author of Polyvagal Prompts (W.W. Norton & Company), co-authored with Deb Dana. Courtney offers individual and group consultation for helping professionals, supporting healers and helpers bring the wisdom of the nervous system into their work. More information can be found at


    We are pleased to offer a copy of Courtney Rolfe and Deb Dana’s new book, Polyvagal Prompts at a special Clear Sky Conference Discount. Please order your copy with your ticket for collection and signing at the event.

    Ben Kingston-Hughes

    Ben Kingston-Hughes is an international keynote speaker, author and multi award-winning trainer. He is also the Managing Director of Inspired Children and has worked with vulnerable children across the UK for over 34 years. He has appeared on television several times working on a variety of children’s projects and his distinctive blend of humour, neuroscience and real-life practical experiences have made his training invaluable for anyone working with children.

    His game-changing book about play, “A Very Unusual Journey into Play.” has gained widespread acclaim and his brand new book, “Why Children Need Joy” is available now.

    “A wonderful book, engaging and easy to read, worth every penny, and thoroughly recommended.” Jim Morehouse – Verified Amazon Purchaser.

    Julie McCann

    Julie McCann is a BAPT Play Therapist and Certified Theraplay Practitioner based in south London. She worked for many years at the UK fostering and adoption charity, TACT, where the focus of her work was a BBC Children In Need funded project called ‘The Power of Play’. She is currently a lecturer at the University of Roehampton where she teaches on the MA in Play Therapy alongside colleagues in the Arts and Play Therapies programmes. Julie supports play therapy and Theraplay supervisees from a range of professional backgrounds including social work and education. She also uses her play therapy skills in private practice, working primarily with adopted children and their families to build stronger attachments and process feelings around trauma and loss. Whatever the setting, Julie focuses on playful connections between everyone in the room. Working in the medium of play is certainly not always ‘fun’ and Julie recognises how play has the power to bring about relief to troubling and distressing feelings.

    You can contact Julie at [email protected]

    Honorata Chorazy-Przybysz

    Honorata Chorazy-Przybysz is an integrative creative counsellor (MBACP), clay therapist and practicing expressive artist with an artist residency studio at Rooftop Arts in Corby. Before qualifying as the counsellor, Honorata practiced as a therapeutic arts practitioner for years delivering group work to public health, charities, and MH organisations. She delivers courses on creative arts and playfulness for wellbeing for adults and teens based on merge of creativity, spontaneity, and expressive arts.

    Honorata is the ambassador and CPD trainer for Creative Counsellors CIC since 2021 and practitioner member of APCCA (Association for Person Centred Creative Arts). She presented during 2022 APCCA conference on creative therapy in community groups, during 2023 Creative Counsellors Conference delivered creative arts workshop and in 2024 was a speaker for International Clay Therapy Conference.

    She runs a private practice focusing on neurodivergent clients and those who prefer creative approaches to therapy. Honorata is the contributor to Creative Counselling book by Tanja Sharpe.

    Yeva Feldman

    Yeva Feldman, MSc, ADMP UK, UKCP, RDMT is a Gestalt dance movement therapist with over 25 years of clinical experience. She directs the MA Dance Movement Psychotherapy Programme at the University of Roehampton in London and teaches internationally. She is a clinical supervisor and works in private practice. She specialises in working with eating disorders and trauma and written about her work with adults with eating disorders in Payne, H. (Ed.) (2017), Essentials of Dance Movement Psychotherapy and her work with women with BPD and histories of trauma in A. Chesner & S. Lykou (Eds.) (2020) Trauma in the Creative and Embodied Therapies. Other publications include: ‘How body psychotherapy influenced me to become a dance movement psychotherapist’ in Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy Journal in 2015; ‘Forward’ in Unkovich, G., Butte, C. & Butler, J. (Eds.) (2017) Dance Movement Psychotherapy with People with Learning Disabilities; ‘The Dialogical Dance: A relational embodied approach to supervision’ in C. Butte & T. Colbert (Eds.) (2023). Embodied Approaches to Supervision: The listening body.

    Martyn 'Eek' Cooper

    Martyn Cooper enjoyed a career in nursing starting with mental health nursing before undertaking general nursing, specialising in intensive care and trauma. Now retired he works with Samaritans, Sue Ryder and as a performer both in clowning and with music. He has recently started his PhD looking at introducing therapeutic clowning into adult cancer clinical settings.

    “Martyn “EEK” Cooper, also known as Eek the Clown, is a British clown and entertainer. He gained prominence for his unique and eccentric clown persona, characterised by colourful costumes, exaggerated makeup, and comedic performances. Eek is known for his ability to engage audiences of all ages with his playful antics and slapstick humour. He has performed in various venues, including circuses, festivals, and children’s events, delighting audiences with his lively and entertaining performances. Eek the Clown has become a beloved figure in the world of entertainment, bringing joy and laughter wherever he goes.”

    How to get here

    If you are travelling by car:

    The venue has a large car park offering free parking. You will need to register your car upon arrival at the reception desk.

    If you are travelling by public transport:


    The nearest bus stops are located on Lake Street, around a 1 minute walk from voco® Oxford Spires Hotel. Redbridge Park and Ride is a 5 minute bus journey or 20 mins walk away.


    Oxford railway station is roughly 10 minutes via taxi from voco® Oxford Spires Hotel.


    Taxi Fares are typically about £5.00.

    Here are a couple of Taxi Companies you could use:

    0 01 Taxis – 01865 240000

    Go Green Taxis – tel 01865 92222

    By Air

    Heathrow and Birmingham airports have direct transport links into Oxford. The train service from Birmingham takes 1.5 hours, and bus service from Heathrow takes approximately 90 minutes.


    Where to stay

    Accommodation is not included.

    voco® Oxford Spires Hotel are offering delegates B&B Rooms at £260 per night. To book please visit

    Abingdon Road has quite a few alternative accommodation options, here are some you could try:

    Travelodge Oxford – Abingdon Road

    Newton House

    Cornerways B&B

    Green Gables

    There are also several Premier Inns and Travelodges in Oxford

    For more places to stay please visit: Hotels Combined.

    Please note, we have not visited these hotels ourselves so would always recommend you check reviews before booking.

    There are also a number of Airbnbs in the area.


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