Group Theraplay

Group Theraplay: Creating Cooperation, Connection and Community for Children in Groups
CEs:  13 (Two Days)
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Trainings outside the U.S. have different costs and arrangements. Please contact us for more information.



$350/ $300 for Theraplay Association members



Group Theraplay training is for professionals who want to use Theraplay in classrooms, day care, residential settings or with family groups. This two-day training is for people who have not taken our four-day Level One Theraplay training. If you have already taken Level One training, you should attend the one-day option for Group Theraplay training.

A Theraplay Group is an adult-directed, structured play group that incorporates playful, cooperative and nurturing activities that enhance the emotional well-being of children. Unlike other play group approaches, Theraplay learning takes place on a non-verbal level. Instead of talking about positive social behavior, the group leaders and children DO positive social interaction. Positive messages from the group interaction gradually become a part of the child’s internal sense of self. 

Click here for information about becoming a Certified Group Theraplay Specialist.

Why is Theraplay good for children in group settings:

  • Creates an atmosphere that is warm, nurturing, engaging and challenging
  • Meets the basic needs of children so they can be freed emotionally to explore their world
  • Engages hard-to-reach children
  • Brings fun and exuberance into the lives of children
  • Builds healthy relationships among individuals in a group
  • Places emphasis on cooperation between children
  • Encourages children to learn and practice self-control 
  • Enhances trust of others through concrete, personal and positive experiences
  • Helps children with regulatory disorders and tactile issues
  • Simultaneously addresses cognitive, social and emotional development

Program Content:

  • Principles of attachment theory on an intellectual and experiential level
  • The Four Dimensions of Theraplay for child development 
  • How to quickly assess which of the dimensions a particular child might need  
  • Strategies for incorporating Theraplay in daily interactions with children
  • The importance of touch for children’s well-being and regulation
  • The effects of complex trauma on a child’s brain and behavior
  • Applying Theraplay principles to children’s groups
  • Adapting Theraplay Groups to different populations
  • Leadership skills for implementing a Theraplay group
  • Addressing resistant behavior within the Theraplay group 
  • Experiential practices of both being a participant and a leader
  • Strategies for successful implementation

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the four dimensions of Theraplay, a modality of play therapy
  • Apply Theraplay play principles to group treatment
  • Develop play therapy skills in using the group rules and group techniques through practice
  • Demonstrate how to adapt the use of group Theraplay, a modality of play therapy, with various populations
  • Describe how nurturing and regulating physical connection can assist a child to feel calm and more organized in a play therapy group setting
  • List three effects of complex trauma on a child's brain and behavior 
  • Describe three techniques for managing resistance and problem situations in play therapy groups
  • List a variety of materials and activities that are appropriate for the group Theraplay model
  • List three essential strategies for successful implementation

Who should attend:

  • School counselors and social workers
  • Special education teachers (Masters level)
  • Clinicians who work with groups of children or family group therapy
  • Early childhood specialists

Daily Schedule:

8:00 am. Check-in and coffee service available
8:30 – 4:30 Start and end times each day
A one-hour lunch and two 15-minute breaks will be offered each day

Downlad a detailed agenda

Group Theraplay