Module 3: Marschak Interaction Method: Administration, Scoring, and Feedback for Theraplay Practice

Theraplay® is a child and family modality of play therapy for building and enhancing attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. Rated as “effective” by the SAMHSA National Registry for Evidenced – Based Programs and Practices, it is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parent and child and is personal, physical, and fun. Theraplay play therapy interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge. This module will explore how to analyze the Marschak Interaction Method (MIM).  The MIM is a structured technique for observing and assessing the overall quality and nature of relationships between caregivers and children, and forms the basis for play therapy treatment. It consists of a series of simple tasks designed to elicit behaviors in four primary dimensions in order to evaluate the caregivers’ capacity to:

  • Set limits and provide an appropriately ordered environment (Structure);
  • Engage the child in interaction while being attuned to the child’s state (Engagement);
  • Meet the child’s needs for attention, soothing and care (Nurture); and
  • Support and encourage the child’s efforts to achieve at a developmentally appropriate level (Challenge);

The MIM also explores the child’s ability to respond to the caregivers’ efforts.

This module will address how to take the findings of the MIM and provide feedback to the caregivers, thus building empathy, the ability to mentalize, and a therapeutic relationship between the caregivers and practitioner.  The MIM is an essential tool for play therapy treatment planning.

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

Module 1: Theraplay Theory & Concepts
Module 2: Trauma, Shame, and Resiliency in Theraplay
CEs: 5.5
Required for certification

Upcoming Training

  • Using video, we feature demonstration of treatment of a real client family including the MIM assessment and feedback to the parents
  • The training is interactive, intense, and practical—you will leave with the knowledge and skills to begin implementing MIM assessments in your play therapy treatment
  • It features video of Theraplay treatment with clients of different ages and constellations
  • The training includes interactive sessions to practice a variety of Theraplay activities
  • The training concludes with practicing how to give feedback to parents

  • 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
  • Utilize the MIM as a guide for treatment planning in play therapy
  • Classify three play therapy goals to be achieved during a MIM feedback session with parents

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