What is Theraplay?

Theraplay is a child and family therapy for building and enhancing attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. It is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parent and child and is personal, physical, and fun. Theraplay interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge. Theraplay sessions create an active, emotional connection between the child and parent or caregiver, resulting in a changed view of the self as worthy and lovable and of relationships as positive and rewarding.

In treatment, the Theraplay therapist guides the parent 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.

We call this “building relationships from the inside out.”

Here are some more reasons to attend:

  • SAMHSA has given Theraplay the highest evidenced based recognition! Huge Huge Huge benefit to the field of Play Therapy.
  • If you work with children and families with attachment, autism, and internalizing disorders.
  • If you are a school based counselor or work in early childhood.
  • If you already took Theraplay I  at another time take advantage of the group Theraplay day which is in June 23, 2017.
  • The third edition of Theraplay: Helping Parents and Children Build Better Relationships Through Attachment-Based Play, a $75 value.
  • Small group experience for a richer more personal learning experience - we have one trainer for every twelve participants for lots of access to the trainer(s) - maximum 30.
  • 23 CE's for every major professional affiliation
  • Participation in two free on-line group supervision meetings, where you will be able to observe one of our practicum students receiving consultation on a real video case.

Event description:
Level One Theraplay & Marschak Interaction Method (MIM): June 19-22, 2017

Group Theraplay Training: June 23, 2017

Ben Parker Elementary School, 45-259 Waikalua Road, Kaneohe, HI 96744


  • $950 for non-members • $925 for Theraplay Association members
  • $895 Early registration (60 days prior) • $870 Early Registration for Theraplay Association members
  • $875 Bring a Friend (first person pays in full)
  • $700 Student Registration (limit two per training; To register as a student submit proof here!)
  • $195 Optional fifth day of Group Theraplay (discounted price for Level One trainees)
  • $1,800 Cohort option*
  • Add a fifth day of Group Theraplay training for only $125 when you register!
  • Financial assistance is available for those who qualify!

Do I qualify for Financial Assistance? 
Financial assistance is available on a limited basis for community mental health professionals who focus on underserved areas, are employed at a not-for-profit or work with foster/adoptive parents. Click here to see if you qualify!

Special Features of this training:

  • Using video, we feature demonstration of treatment of a real client family including the MIM assessment, feedback to the parents and several Theraplay sessions
  • The training is interactive, intense and practical—you’ll leave with the knowledge and skills to begin using Theraplay in your work
  • It features video of Theraplay treatment with many different clients in addition to the demonstration family
  • The training includes interactive sessions to practice a variety of Theraplay activities
  • The training concludes with the creation of a treatment plan for one of your own clients and a chance to practice it for feedback

Learning Objectives for Level One Theraplay & MIM:

  • Administer the MIM and analyze it at a beginning level.
  • List 3 goals to be achieved during a MIM feedback sessionwith parents.
  • Utilize the MIM as a guide for treatment planning.
  • Describe the four dimensions of Theraplay, a modality ofplay therapy.
  • Demonstrate one activity from each dimension:Structure, Engagement, Nurture and Challenge.
  • Describe 3 possible ways of adapting Theraplay treatmentto meet the needs of a child with complex trauma.
  • Describe how to guide parents to participate in aTheraplay treatment session.

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.

Daily Schedule:
8:00 a.m. Check-in on first day; coffee service available each day
8:30 – 4:30 Start and end times for days 1-3
8:30 – 3:30 Start and end times for day 4
A one hour lunch and two 15-minute breaks will be offered

Theraplay Training - June 19-23, 2017

Level One Theraplay & Marschak Interaction Method (MIM)


Hawaii Association

Play Therapy