Building Blocks

LIVE Webinar: The Drive to Play: A DIR Perspective Using Play and Relationship-Based Techniques to Achieve your Treatment Goals

Gilbert Foley, Ed.D., IMH-E (IV-C) and Maureen Karwowski, OTR/L

Wednesday – March 1, 2023

Early $225.00* | Regular $250.00
8:00 am – 3:00 pm EST
*Early registration must be received 14 days prior to webinar (Feb. 14, 2023). GROUP DISCOUNT ALSO AVAILABLE!

Play is the portal through which young children are afforded access to a vast array of developmental opportunities. Play occurs spontaneously without the need for an imposed task and is a therapeutic modality applicable across disciplines.  This day is devoted to the discovery of play in developmental context and the applications of play as a treatment modality across disciplines. The first part of the morning will focus on the functions of play, the typical developmental course of play over the first 5- years and how play serves to support the formation of self- regulation itself. Play as self healing is illustrated by a video documenting the dramatic developmental advances made by a class of children with emotional disorders through open-ended play with basic materials.

The second half of the morning begins with an introduction to DIR Model (Developmental. Individual-difference. Relationship-based) approach to intervention with autism and other developmental disorders. The morning session concludes with a more in-depth examination and illustration of “D” the “I” and the” R” and Floortime, the play and relationship-based treatment modality of DIR, applicable across disciplines. The second half of the day is totally devoted to the clinical application of play in occupational therapy, specifically, and across therapies. Three cases will be presented, two of which will have a multi-disciplinary perspective. The cases will be illustrated with video clips and vignette, analyzed and deconstructed to illustrate clinical reasoning and process using play and relationship-based methodology including DIR. Audience questions and discussion will be encouraged.



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Learning Objectives
Participants completing this course will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the stages of typical play development
  • Conceptualize how play promotes self-regulation
  • Describe the components of the DIR Model and the principles of floortime
  • Formulate intervention plans in a play and relationship-based approach Implement basic play and relationship-based practice

This course applies to:

  • Early Intervention (Birth – 3 years old)
  • Preschool (3 – 5 years old)
  • Elementary School

PT, OT, SW, Special Education Professionals

Course Level 



Gilbert M. Foley, Ed.D., IMH-E (IV-C) 

Gilbert M. Foley, Ed.D., IMH-E (IV-C) serves as Consulting Clinical Psychologist at the New York Center for Child Development (NYCCD) in New York City and Clinical Co-Director of the New York City Early Childhood Mental Health Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC): a collaboration between NYCCD and McSilver Institute, New York University. He is also Director of the Graduate Personnel Preparation Program in Infant Mental Health and Developmental Practice at the Adelphi University Institute for Parenting, Garden City, NY. He is a Senior Faculty member of the Profectum DIR Academy and is Endorsed as an Infant Mental Health Clinical Mentor. Dr. Foley is a retired tenured faculty member of Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology where he taught for 20 years in the Department of School-Clinical Child Psychology and coordinated the infancy-early childhood track. As Senior Clinical Supervisor in the Department of Pediatrics at NYU School of Medicine-Bellevue Hospital Center, he was an innovator in the technique of reflective supervision. While serving as the Chief Psychologist in the Pediatric Department of the Medical College of Pennsylvania, Dr. Foley completed a fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center with the late, Sally Provence M. D. Dr. Foley served as the Director and Principle Investigator of the Family Centered Resource Project, providing training to the infant/early childhood intervention community nationally. Dr. Foley‘s clinical and teaching career has been devoted in large part to working with infants and young children with special needs and their families. He is the author of several books and numerous articles, including “Mental Health in Early Intervention” with Dr. Jane Hochman, published by Brookes. He lectures and consults widely, nationally and internationally, having recently returned from South Africa, China and Israel.
Gilbert receives a speaking fee for the presentation. Gilbert has no relevant non-financial relationships to disclose.

Maureen Karwowski, OTR/L

Maureen Karwowski, OTR/L serves as the Vice President of Clinical services at Easterseals DuPage and Fox Valley. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University’s Occupational Therapy program with more than 25 years of experience working with children. Her experience has included work with children with a variety of diagnosis, including autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, sensory processing disorders, and feeding issues. Maureen has provided treatment in settings such as an early intervention program, a children’s hospital, schools, as well as out-patient therapy centers. Maureen holds a certificate in Neurodevelopmental Treatment Techniques (NDT) as well as a fellow’s certificate in Developmental Individualized Relationship Based treatment (DIR.). Maureen incorporates this DIR training as well as the NDT training to children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing disorders as well as children with feeding challenges.


Maureen receives a speaking fee for the presentation. Maureen has no relevant non-financial relationships to disclose.

Course Schedule

LIVE On-Line Webinar
8:00 am – 3:00 pm EST

8:00 am – 8:15 – Introductions

8:15 – 9:00 – Typical patterns of play development, play as regulation, play as self-healing

9:00 – 9:15 – Break

9:15 – 9:45 – Play as self-healing and video illustration

9:45 – 10:45 – The DIR model and Foortime play and relationship- based practices

10:45 – 11:00 pm – Q&A/discussion

11:00 – 11:45 – Assessments using a DIR model

11:45-12:00 pm -Q&A/discussion

12:00 – 12:45 – Lunch

12:45 – 1:30 – Case presentation and analysis

1:30-2:15 – Case presentation and analysis

2:15 – 2:45 – Case presentation and analysis

2:45 – 3:00 –Q&A/discussion


This course applies to:

  • Early Intervention (Birth – 3 years old)
  • Preschool (3 – 5 years old)
  • Elementary School

Educational Credits

6 contact hours
Post – Test will be required after course.

Approved for 6 contact hours by NYSED’s State Board for PT.

Application has been made to NJBPTE for CE credit approval.

Approved NYSED CTLE provider.  Sponsor ID #23746.

AOTA-Approved Provider ProgramTSI is an AOTA Approved Provider of Professional Development. PD activity approval ID# Pending. This Live PD is offered at 6 contact hours or .6 CEU’s, Intermediate level, OT Service Delivery. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not endorse specific course content, products, or clinical procedures.


Group Discount

Early $225.00* | Regular $250.00

*Early registration must be received 14 days prior to seminar VALID UNTIL Feb 14, 2023

3 or more registrants – Early –  $212.94 | Regular – $236.60 (use code group3)

In order to qualify for the group discounted rate, registrations MUST all be received within 24 hours (of the first registration) if registering on-line, and in the same envelope if registering by mail.  PLEASE NOTE: Registrations received after a group has been processed will not be eligible for the discount.

To ensure that all group members receive the appropriate discount, choose a group name and be sure that each person registering adds the name in the “Additional Information” section at checkout.