Therapeutic Dolls for Trauma Responsive Practice with Children

The Australian Childhood Foundation has designed a new range of innovative therapeutic dolls that support neurobiologically focused metaphor and thematic work with traumatised children in any context. These dolls are a part of the Big Tree community of characters, available in the App Store.  A comprehensive practice manual and one of the dolls are included in the workshop cost.

As the trauma field has matured, there is increasing interest in the use of practical tools to support the recovery of children and young people from experiences of violation and severe relational disruption. The Australian Childhood Foundation has been at the forefront of innovation to practice that integrates sensory and cognitive approaches to trauma resolution for children and young people.

To this end, we have created a new type of tool that is a world first. It is a set of four colourful, texturally rich therapeutic dolls who live within and around the branches of a creative narrative landscape defined by a Big Tree. Each of the characters represent pivotal themes that children engage with in the therapeutic process including,
  • identity configuration,
  • emotional expression and affect regulation,
  • nurture and nourishment,
  • being heard and finding voice,
  • worry and calm,
  • transformation and adaptability.

This workshop describes how these therapeutic dolls are used with children and families, including an exploration of their tactile nature which are intended to promote sensory engagement. The designs of the dolls are specifically weighted to provide children an anchor of deep pressure touch when they begin to feel dysregulated.

In this hands-on demonstration, participants will be offered a valuable insight into the richness of meaning-making strategies that children and their carers/families can engage in when relationships have fun, respect and imagination restored to them.

The characters also form part of the Big Tree app that can be used to extend the effects of the doll experience into their home environment. The stories in the app have been voiced by Chris and Leonie Hemsworth, Patrons of the Australian Childhood Foundation.

The cost of the workshop includes the purchase of one of the Dolls and the Big Tree app. Participants will be able to use the ‘Morton the Monster’ doll immediately in their practice. The three other dolls are available for purchase only to those who have attended the workshop.
To learn more about these dolls, their trauma-informed design and the reason why we believe they are such a powerful tool when working with children, click here

Learning Outcomes



Target Audience

This workshop is suitable for all professionals working with children, and young people, who have experienced trauma, abuse, neglect or violence and are working in a therapeutic context with those children.  It is strongly suggested that participants have the capacity within their role to support the use of the therapeutic dolls that form the basis of the workshop content.


Our Trainers

All training sessions delivered by Australian Childhood Foundation are facilitated by members of our therapeutic services and professional education services teams. These staff members are qualified and experienced professionals that are engaging in trauma-informed practice with children, young people and families across Australia. Training team members draw on their practice wisdom and current experiences to contextualise the training content to practice challenges and successes.  They are able to link the theory and research to improved outcomes.  

Learning Methods

Live, interactive virtual workshop


Register Now

Name Start Date Time Location Cost
Therapeutic Dolls for Trauma Responsive Practice with Children 11 September 2024   10:00 am - 02:00 pm Virtual Classroom $297.00

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