Level One Theraplay & Marschak Interaction Method (MIM)


Level One training prepares participants to begin using Theraplay Informed Practice in their work. We recommend beginning with an easier case to get practice and confidence before trying to work with complex families or trauma. Professional development opportunities to improve Theraplay skills are available, including Level Two training with its modular options.

See our FAQ page for more details.

Theraplay: The Practitioner’s Guide is required for this training. Read Chapters 2, 4 and 6 of your book prior to the training, or during the course of the training week, and bring it with you for reference each day. All other materials will be provided via email or on the first day of training. Digital and paper versions are available. Purchase here.

Prerequisite: None
CEs: 25, except where noted
Required for certification

Upcoming Training

  • Principles of attachment theory on an intellectual and experiential level
  • The Four Dimensions of Theraplay
  • The Theraplay protocol
  • An introduction to the Marschak Interaction Method (MIM): administration, analysis and as a guide for treatment planning
  • Adapting Theraplay for working with children and families impacted by complex trauma and other populations
  • Managing resistance throughout the treatment process
  • Managing countertransference in your work  with children and families
  • Implementing Theraplay into your practice

  • Differentiate three play, attachment-based theories and how they support the work of Theraplay
  • Differentiate how children with various attachment styles present in play therapy sessions
  • Explain the benefits of using the MIM in your play therapy practice
  • Arrange the MIM play therapy assessment tool
  • Analyze the MIM at a beginning level to benefit families in play therapy
  • Construct a play therapy treatment plan based upon the MIM analysis
  • Classify three play therapy goals to be achieved during a MIM feedback session with parents
  • Describe the four dimensions of Theraplay, a modality of play therapy
  • Demonstrate one play-based activity from each dimension: Structure, Engagement, Nurture and Challenge.
  • Describe three possible ways of adapting Theraplay into play therapy treatment to meet the needs of a child with complex trauma
  • Describe how to guide parents to participate in a Theraplay, a modality of play therapy, in treatment session
  • Show how to prepare parents to use Theraplay play therapy techniques at home to further therapeutic goals
  • Describe how various parent attachment styles present in play therapy sessions
  • Demonstrate adapting Theraplay play therapy techniques to three different populations of families
  • Apply Theraplay techniques to work through resistance in play therapy sessions
  • Show how to adapt Theraplay activities for children of different ages
  • Explain how to prepare for termination of Theraplay treatment
  • Analyze how the clinician is impacted by the functioning of parents and children in play therapy sessions
  • Identify two types of clients for whom Theraplay would not be an appropriate play therapy modality


My son is a whole new boy. I have not had to restrain him in months, and there is no more self-mutilation. He is compassionate, loveable and considerate. He can play and take turns, and he trusts adults. He turned six recently, and I feel that there is so much hope now. When we first came to The Theraplay Institute, we were afraid that we could not be the forever family we had promised him. Now we can fulfill that promise. If I had not come to The Theraplay Institute, we would probably not be together today.

Until my introduction to Theraplay, I struggled to successfully engage Ellen in physically intimate and challenging ways. Now, I can truly say that Theraplay has shown me ways to engage with children irrespective of age, ability or needs.

See Our Upcoming Trainings!

We host trainings all over the world! See if we're coming to an area near you.


Interested in becoming more involved in the Theraplay Community? Become a member of our association!

Theraplay Association

Receive the highest level of support as you acquire skills and knowledge about Theraplay

About Certification

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