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.

The third edition of Theraplay: Helping Parents and Children Build Better Relationships Through Attachment-Based Play is required for this training. Add it to your registration 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


am in the process of becoming a certified Theraplay practitioner and it has been one of the best experiences in my career as a child Psychologist.  The supervisors and staff are dedicated, very supportive and easy to approach. I was assigned one supervisor however have the opportunity to be supervised by three. The process is easy, feedback is timely and the learning process is enhanced through the option of being a part of live supervision sessions as a participant or observer. Definitely worth the time and money to forward my career.

Julie Cajolet-Eckhardt (United States)

My Theraplay practicum was a wonderful experience. It provided me with the guidance I needed to better integrate my learning about attachment, child development and the Theraplay process, and to develop my skills and confidence as a Theraplay practitioner.  Lorie Walton was an excellent supervisor.  She was gentle, always insightful and helpful, and she has an amazing ability to zero in on family dynamics and issues relating to process.  I valued her input, and give her a lot of credit for my success as a Theraplay practitioner.  She is still my “go-to” person for consultation on Theraplay.

Linda Perry (Canada)

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Theraplay Association

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