Rachael Benson
Administrative Assistant 
Spiral Foundation
(617) 969-4410 ext. 231


Saturday, September 21, 2019
8:30am - 4:30pm


Spiral Foundation / OTA The Koomar Center
74 Bridge St.
Newton, MA 02458

Driving Directions


8:30-9:00         Registration

9:00-10:30       Introduction to SAFE PLACE; Theoretical Foundations of the SAFE PLACE Model

10:30-10:45     Break

10:45-12:00     Assessment and Intervention Components of SAFE PLACE; SAFE PLACE Assessment Process

12:00-1:00       Lunch

1:00-2:30         SAFE PLACE Intervention 

2:30-2:45         Break

2:45-4:30         Identifying and Measuring SAFE PLACE Outcomes; Research Supporting SAFE PLACE as an Evidence-Based Practice

Occupational Therapy Practitioners/ Occupational Therapy Assistants:  The Spiral Foundation is an Approved Provider of continuing Education for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants by the American Occupational Therapy Association.  The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.  

ADA/Section 504:  If you require special accommodations, please contact us at the address above.

One Day Course:

SAFE PLACE: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Treating Children with Complex Trauma and Sensory Processing Disorder – A Training Program 

Presented by:

Sarah Sawyer, MA, OTR/L &
Teresa May-Benson, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA


Saturday, September 21, 2019

OTs working with children with sensory processing challenges are increasingly addressing co-morbid trauma and attachment concerns. Effective interventions are limited. This workshop will provide participants with the assessment and intervention knowledge necessary to implement the SAFE PLACE program, a multi-disciplinary sensory integration-based intervention for addressing attachment and complex trauma concerns in children with sensory processing dysfunction. The SAFE PLACE intervention program involves occupational therapists, mental health professionals, parent and child and encompasses concepts and philosophies from sensory integration, attachment, and complex developmental trauma theory. The SAFE PLACE model of care and core assessment strategies and intervention principles will be presented. Case studies will illustrate the components, implementation and outcomes of the intervention program. Participants will evaluate their own sensory processing style and reflect on how their sensory processing style facilitates or hinders interactions with their clients.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this presentation participants will be able to:

  1. Describe a theoretical model which integrates concepts of sensory integration, complex trauma and attachment.
  2. State the components necessary to implement the SAFE PLACE program in clinical practice.
  3. Identify appropriate sensory, motor, trauma and attachment assessments to comprehensively evaluate children

Contact Hours: This course is worth a total of 6.0 contact hours, or .6 AOTA CEUs
Course Level:
Target Audience:  Occupational therapists, OT assistants, Mental Health Professionals, Social Workers
AOTA: Domain: Performance Skills Process: Intervention
Course Completion Requirements: To receive contact hours or CEUs for this course you must attend and participate in the course activities.

About the Speakers:

Teresa A. May-Benson, Sc.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, Executive Director of the Spiral Foundation, is a well-known lecturer and researcher on sensory integration with specialized training and experience in addressing oral motor and feeding issues in children.  She has extensive experience with assessing and treating sensory integration dysfunction in children and adults. She has treated oral motor and eating difficulties in children and adolescents with autism, cerebral palsy and developmental disabilities for over 30 years. She applies her sensory integration background to understanding and treating oral motor and eating problems in conjunction with her expertise in manual therapies.  Dr. May-Benson has also authored numerous book chapters and articles related to praxis, ideation, and sensory integration.

Sarah Sawyer, MA, OTR/L is the Clinical Director at OTA The Koomar Center and is responsible for overseeing all therapeutic activities. She has extensive clinical experience working with children and families. Sarah began her career in the United Kingdom working with children, adolescents and adults with Sensory Processing Dysfunction (SPD) across home, school and clinic-based settings. In 2003 Sarah was awarded the Elizabeth Casson Trust Scholarship from Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK, to attend Tufts University to complete her post-professional masters. Her thesis focused on therapists’ clinical reasoning. Sarah has broad experience evaluating and treating individuals with SPD and has specialized training in Listening Therapies, Trauma and Visual Vestibular difficulties. She has a particular interest in working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum and has specialized training in DIRŪ Floortime Approach. As well as overseeing the day-to-day running of the clinic, Sarah regularly trains and presents to educational facilities and other professionals broadening understanding of Sensory Processing Dysfunction and Sensory Integration Therapy.

Cost: $199

Register Now!

Cancellation Policy: No refunds except in the event the course is cancelled by Spiral. Please see here towards the bottom of the page for the Spiral Foundation's complete policy regarding cancellations and refunds. For questions, contact us at or  617-969-4410 ext 231.