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Special Presentation: Mentalizing Parenting

October 1, 2021 @ 4:30 am - 7:30 am CDT

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This is a 4 day virtual training
October 1, 2021

Trainers: Saara Salo and Hanna Lampi


We are 2 family psychoterapists and Theraplay-therapists (and trainers) who have worked with improving parenting and attachment relationships for many years. We both have experience in working prenatally and with young children when parents are depressed and anxious and don’t feel bonded to their children, as well as with older children who have multiple developmental issues and diagnoses often themselves. Over the years, we have found hugely significant the role of healing play, bringing parents and children together to create new and special ways of being together with the use of  interventions such as Theraplay® ( or Nurture and Play ( Often these nonverbal, procedural and implicitly mentalized new ways of being engaged and able to nurture an  dysregulated child are immensely helpful.

Increasingly, we have found significant to work with parental explicit understanding of the underlying dynamics in their relationship with their child. Understanding the feelings, thoughts, intententions, and motives behind expressed behaviors and affects in children helps parents to find truly sensitive and nurturing ways of interacting. Explicit mentalizing (also referred as parental reflective functioning) also helps in repairing inevitable mismatched and interactional ruptures.

Explicit mentalizing is a parental skill that requires practice. We are never ready with this skill. The development of the basic capacity for explicit mentalizing is related to parental own attachment histories. The daily functioning of this skill is inversely related to stress – and also for this reason practicing it is useful.

In this 3 hour online workshop we present practical ideas and case work how to work with parental mentalizing in clinical work. Our examples stem from parent-child interaction treatments, reflective use of videos, and from individual meetings and interviews with parents. We will introduce games, picture material and written material to given to the parents as well as discuss about more general ways how clinicians reflective stance, use of reflective questions and techniques will improve mentalizing.


October 1, 2021
4:30 am - 7:30 am CDT
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