Sensory Defensiveness Workshop – A Comprehensive Treatment Approach

A 3 day continuous professional development workshop presented by Julia Wilbarger, Ph.D., OTR & Tracy Murnan Stackhouse, MA, OTR

Solas Bhride Centre, Kildare Town, Ireland, Thursday 14th December – Saturday 16th December 2017, 9am -5pm


Co Presented by Julia Wilbarger, Ph.D., OTR

Julia Wilbarger, PhD, OTR, received a BS in Physiological Psychology from UC Berkeley, a MS in OT from Boston University, and a PhD in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Denver, Colorado.

Julia has practiced as an OT in early intervention with high risk and developmentally delayed infants and toddlers, in the public schools and private practice. At The Children’s Hospital, Denver, she served as a clinical specialist in sensory integration.

She is currently an Associate Professor at Dominican University of California in the Occupational Therapy Department. Her research is focused on the study of affective and sensory processing in a range of clinical populations.




Co Presented by Tracy Murnan Stackhouse, MA, OTR

Tracy is co-founder of the Developmental FX in Denver, Colorado. She is a leading pediatric occupational therapist involved in clinical treatment, research, mentoring, and training regarding OT intervention and neurodevelopmental disorders, especially Fragile X Syndrome and autism. Tracy has a Bachelor’s in Occupational Therapy from Colorado State University and found her work with Eleanor Gilfoyle pivotal in her training. She has a master’s degree in developmental psychology/developmental cognitive neuroscience from the University of Denver and was grateful to work with Sally Rogers during her research training. She is NDT trained, and SIPT Certified. Tracy has written several book chapters on sensory integration and neurodevelopmental disorders, and teaches nationally and internationally on sensory integration, fragile X, autism, and related topics. Tracy enjoys mentoring and spends many hours a month mentoring clinicians from around the world to improve their clinical reasoning skills.




Course Description:

Sensory defensiveness is a serious sensory modulation problem that is rarely correctly identified and infrequently treated directly and effectively. This workshop will introduce an in-depth, clinical approach to treating sensory defensiveness.
Sensory defensiveness will be described across multiple age and diagnostic groups. The relation between sensory defensiveness and emerging psychological and neuroscience theories of behavior will be considered.

Clinical labs consist of training in specific assessment and treatment techniques including the protocols developed by Patricia Wilbarger. Practicum exercises incorporate detecting and analyzing sensory based behaviors, activity planning (the “sensory diet”) and the management of individual cases using advanced clinical reasoning procedures.


Course Objectives: 

  • Understand the key features of sensory defensiveness and how it disrupts occupational performance.
  • Identify symptoms of sensory defensiveness at different ages using a specialized clinical interview.
  • Provide direct clinical management for the treatment of SD including developing client awareness, creating a sensory diet, and applying a direct treatment approach to various clinical populations across the age span.
  • Design a ‘sensory diet’ for a variety of individuals with sensory defensiveness.
  • Have an overview of the emerging psychological and neuroscience theories related to this condition as a basis for further study and research


Who Should Attend:

This is a Continuous Professional Development Workshop for clinicians and will be of particular interest to occupational therapists. In order to treat patients with the Wilbarger Protocol, it is important to receive proper training and to update training regularly.

Clinical work across four decades and advances in basic neuroscience have resulted in a specific, multidimensional treatment approach that has had a dramatic impact on client outcomes. This integrated approach is client centered and requires advanced clinical reasoning. Casual exposure to these procedures has resulted in misuse and misinterpretation of our approach to training clinicians.



Day 1: Thursday 14th December 2017

  • 8.30am – 9am Registration & Refreshements
  • 9:00 Introduction & Overview of Key Issues
  • Understanding Sensory Defensiveness: Research and Neuroscience Concepts
  • 12:00 – 1:15 Lunch Break
  • 1:15 Integrated Treatment Approach: Assessment, and Sensory Diet
  • 5:00 Adjourn for the day


Day 2 Friday 15th December 2017

  • 8.45am – 9am Registration & Refreshments
  • 9am Integrated Treatment Approach: Professionally Guided Treatment
  • 10am Treatment Lab I
    Small Group Practice of Assessments
    Using The Therapressure Program and Oral Technique (Wilbarger Protocols)
  • 12:30 – 1:30 Lunch Break
  • 1:30 Treatment Implementation:
    Assessment and Treatment Programs across Ages and Stages
    Designing and Implementing Sensory Diets
  • 5:00 Adjourn for the day


Day 3: Saturday 16th December 2017

  • 8.45-9am Registration & Refreshments
  • 9am Neuroscience Concepts Related To Treating Sensory Defensiveness
  • 10am Treatment Lab II: Protocol Check-out & Problem Solving Exercise
  • 12:30– 1:30 Lunch Break
  • 1:30 Treatment Implementation
    Designing and Implementing Intensive Intervention Programs
    Clinical Reasoning and Applications to Specific Clinical Populations.
  • 5:00 Adjourn



Places on this course are always popular and are strictly limited. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

Early Bird Ticket €475 on sale until 28th February 2017

Standard Ticket €495 on sale 1st March – 1st December 2017

Late Registration €525 for tickets purchased after 1st December 2017

Included In Your Ticket:

  • Attendance Certificate
  • Therapressure Brush
  • Printed Handouts
  • 3 Days of High Quality Training
  • Lunch & Refreshments during break times
  • Free Car Parking



Solas Bhride Centre, Tully Road, Kildare Town, Ireland, Phone 045 522890, Email

Conveniently located just a 3 minute drive from Exit 13 at Kildare Town/Kildare Village


Local Accommodation Suggestions:

Solas Bhride Self Catering Hermitages

Kildare House Hotel

Hotel Keadeen

Lord Edward B&B At The Silken Thomas

Castleview Farm B&B

Eagle Hill B&B

Direct training is vital for appropriate application of the Wilbarger approach to treating sensory defensiveness.

Book Online

Sold Out

Event Date: 14-12-2017
Event Price: €525.00
€ 525.00