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Theraplay Level 1 & MIM

Family Futures is now one of the UK centres for Theraplay training with qualified UK-based trainers who specialise in working with traumatised children and their families. Theraplay is used in the UK and internationally, with over 1,200 professionals attending our training since 2002. Our  courses are active and rewarding. We limit participant numbers so you can receive the personal attention that makes for a good training experience.

Theraplay is a short-term and long term, therapist-guided therapy for children and their parents or caregivers that enhances attachment, self-esteem and trust in others through play and interaction. It is based on the natural qualities found in healthy parent and child relationships, and focuses on four domains: structure, nurture, engagement and challenge. It works on creating an active and empathetic connection between a child and their parents. This process helps children to view themselves as worthy and lovable, and change their perceptions of relationships to ones that are positive and rewarding.

Theraplay uses an assessment process called the Marschak Interaction Method (MIM), which is a structured technique for observing and assessing the interaction between caregivers and child. The MIM consists of a series of simple tasks, which the caregivers and child perform together. It is used to evaluate the caregivers’ capacity for structure, nurture, engagement and challenge; and the child’s response to a caregiver. The MIM is a valuable tool in planning treatment and determining how to help parents and children strengthen their relationships.

Course objectives

Our four-day Theraplay Level 1 course will provide participants with the understanding and skills to apply Theraplay to their own clients. The training includes a UK case presentation, and offers a chance to practice Theraplay techniques and plan how to use them with clients.

*It is required that participants read chapters 1,2 and 4 of the Theraplay book prior to the training, which is available to order from Amazon or other major book stores.

What skills will you take away?

  • An understanding of the history and theory of Theraplay
  • An understanding of how developmental trauma affects attachment and self-esteem
  • How to differentiate and use the four Theraplay domains (structure, nurture, engagement and challenge)
  • Training in how to administer the MIM and analyse it
  • Role play opportunities to practice Theraplay techniques
  • An understanding of how Theraplay can meet the needs of children with behavioural problems, adopted and fostered children, autistic children, adolescents and traumatised children
  • Knowledge of how parents are guided to emphatically observe and participate in Theraplay sessions

Who should attend?

Psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, social workers, speech and language therapists, counsellors, adoption and post-adoption counsellors, therapists, family therapists, early childhood and developmental specialists, and teachers.


Lead trainer: Jay Vaughan, M.A., is a Certified Theraplay therapist and supervisor as well as a Theraplay trainer. Jay is also a state registered Dramatherapist, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapist and Somatic Experience Practitioner. Jay is the Clinical Director at Family Futures CIC and is also the agency’s Responsible Person.

Co-trainer: Helen Maund is a HCPC Registered Senior Social Worker and a Certified Theraplay Practitioner.  Helen has also completed her DDP level 1 training and a post-graduate certificate in therapeutic play. She has worked in social work with children and families for 16 years, and for the last 11 years has specialised in adoption.



Family Futures CIC
3 & 4 Floral Place
7 - 9 Northampton Grove
London N1 2PL

Course times: 9am - 5pm


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