International Conference

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Welcome to the 8th International Theraplay Conference!

July 9-10, 2020
Hilton Orrington
1710 Orrington Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201

We look forward to welcoming you to Evanston! 

The 2020 8th International Theraplay Conference will be held in Evanston, IL, from July 6-12, 2020 with main conference dates on July 9-10. This year’s highlights include: keynotes from Bessel van der Kolk and Melanie Chung-Sherman, breakout workshops each day, and pre- and post-conference trainings with experts in Theraplay, EMDR, and blended modalities. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn with and from your peers in the field at this high-caliber learning institute. For some extra fun, choose from a variety of evening social events to relax with new and old friends after each day’s learning.

Why 50th ish? It is a bit difficult to say what year was the exact “start” date for Theraplay. The Theraplay model was developed by Ann Jernberg between 1967 - 69 but the name wasn’t coined until 1970. Shortly after, in 1971, the first Theraplay training was offered and The Theraplay Institute came into existence in 1972. With this history we struggled with the “official” creation date of what we know as Theraplay. This is why, at our 8th International Conference in 2020, we will be celebrating our 50th(ish) Anniversary! Help us celebrate all these milestones and more here in Evanston.

Program Information

Review learning outcomes, scheduling, CE information, fees, and additional details for programs offered the week of July 6-12, 2020

Full summary of programming for the week of July 6-12, 2020 and conference details

Pre-Conference Programs
Level Two Theraplay & MIM, July 6-8, 2020

Nurture and Play Part 1, July 6-7, 2020

Post-Conference Programs
Master Class: Combining EMDR and Theraplay, July 11-12, 2020
Master Class: Dyadic Emotional Interaction Style Scoring (D-EIS), July 11-12, 2020

Registration Information 

Register for the conference, post-conference programs, and social events (July 8-12, 2020)
Register for Theraplay Level Two (July 6-8, 2020)
Register for Nurture and Play Part 1 (July 6-7, 2020)


Do you offer any nonprofit or student discounts?
We offer a special discounted rate of $250 for the July 9-10 conference programming for current students and professionals working for a non-proft or NGO. Please complete this form to apply for the discount. Once your application has been approved (typically within 5 business days) you will be sent a special discount code that you can use at registration.

How do I reserve a room at the conference hotel?
Please identify yourself as an attendee of the 2020 Theraplay International Conference when making your reservation at the Hilton Orrington via telephone at 1-800-HILTONS. Attendees can also make reservations at their website by entering the code TIC20 in the box marked Group/Convention Code. Conference rates apply to rooms for the dates July 5 through July 12. Available rooms are limited. Please make your reservations early. There are a number of additional hotels in the area and AirBnB accommodations available in Evanston and the surrounding villages.

What are my transportation/parking options?
Shuttle and taxi services are available from both airports. We also recommend taking advantage of shared ride services or carpooling if possible. The hotel shuttle van may be available for short distances from the hotel. Parking at the hotel incurs a daily valet fee and there is no free parking within the City of Evanston. on Thursday, July 9 we will be providing a group shuttle to the Wilmette Harbor Club. Parking and navigation through the Chicago area can be challenging at best - we recommend using one of the alternatives available if possible.

What is your refund policy for the conference and social events?
Except in cases of extreme emergency, conference tickets and registrations for social events are nonrefundable. Please email John Castro at for any transfer or refund requests or call 1-847-256-7334 x125. Transfers will incur a processing fee of $50 for the transfer of your entire ticket and any related social events. Transfers of just social events will incur a $10 fee.

What's your refund policy for pre- and post-conference trainings?
Please refer to our website for our refund policy concerning trainings. 

How do I receive continuing education?
For information on continuing education credits available, please visit page 20 of the conference program. Participants will receive 12 CEs for their attendance July 9-10, 2020. In order to be eligible for continuing education, attendees must sign in and out and be in attendance for the keynote and afternoon sessions on both days. Staff/volunteers will be onsite to facilitate this process, and you will receive additional instructions closer to the conference. Instructions to complete evaluations and receive your certificate will be emailed after the conference. Please note, APT credits will not be available for this conference, but vary for pre- and post-conference trainingsPlease consult our website or contact us at with any questions regarding CEs.

Will presentation materials be available?
PDF files of presentation materials will be sent to attendees 2-3 weeks before the conference. It is recommended that you print or download these materials to your tablet or laptop to have them available for reference during each workshop. For the pre- and post-conference trainings, all materials will be provided at the trainings. We are 'going green' for this conference and are not providing printed materials.

What if I need special accommodations or have any additional questions?
Please give us a call at 1-847-256-7334 x125 or email John Castro at as possible with any requests.

Also check out AirBnb in Evanston for more affordable options for lodging!

For information regarding CE's please download our informational PDF here!

Visit our Photo Gallery from past conferences.


International Conference