Level One Theraplay & Marschak Interaction Method (MIM) Training

About this course:

Theraplay is a child and family therapy that has been recognized by the Association of Play Therapy as one of the seven seminal psychotherapies for children. Developed over 50 years ago and practiced around the world, Theraplay was developed for any professional working to support healthy child/caregiver attachment. Strong attachment between the child and the important adults in their life has long been believed to be the basis of good lifelong mental health as well as the mainstay of resilience in the face of adversity. Modern brain research and the field of neuroscience have shown that attachment is the way in which children come to understand, trust and thrive in their world. In treatment, the Theraplay practitioner guides the caregiver and child through playful, fun games, developmentally challenging activities and tender nurturing activities. The very act of engaging each other in this way helps the parent regulate the child’s behavior and communicate love, joy and safety to the child. It helps the child feel secure, cared for, connected and worthy. Level one training prepares participants to begin using Theraplay Informed Practice in their work.


March 27 – 30, 2023


8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. | 25 CE hours


The Training Center at ChildServe in Johnston: 5406 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, Iowa 50131. Enter our building through Entrance A.


$900 for external registrants | free for ChildServe team members

Intended Audience:

Behavioral health therapists and outpatient therapists or people who specialize in working with young children and families in many different capacities

Learning Objectives:
  1. Differentiate three play, attachment-based theories and how they support the work of Theraplay
  2. Define how children with various attachment styles present in play therapy sessions
  3. Explain the benefits of using the MIM in your play therapy practice
  4. Arrange the MIM play therapy assessment tool
  5. Analyze the MIM at a beginning level to benefit families in play therapy
  6. Construct a play therapy treatment plan based upon the MIM analysis
  7. Classify three play therapy goals to be achieved during a MIM feedback session with parents
  8. Describe the four dimensions of Theraplay, a modality of play therapy
  9. Indicate one play-based activity from each dimension: Structure, Engagement, Nurture and Challenge.
  10. List three possible ways of adapting Theraplay into play therapy treatment to meet the needs of a child with complex trauma
  11. State how to guide parents to participate in a Theraplay, a modality of play therapy, in treatment session
  12. Specify how to prepare parents to use Theraplay play therapy techniques at home to further therapeutic goals
  13. Express how various parent attachment styles present in play therapy sessions
  14. Demonstrate adapting Theraplay play therapy techniques to three different populations of families
  15. Apply Theraplay techniques to work through resistance in play therapy sessions
  16. Practice how to adapt Theraplay activities for children of different ages
  17. Explain how to prepare for termination of Theraplay treatment
  18. Evaluate how the clinician is impacted by the functioning of parents and children in play therapy sessions
  19. Identify two types of clients for whom Theraplay would not be an appropriate play therapy modality


ChildServe improves the health and well-being of more than 5,600 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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