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Digital Seminar

Who’s Afraid of Children in Family Therapy?: How Therapists Can Help

Dafna Lender, LCSW |  Phyllis Booth, MA
3 Hours 55 Minutes
Mar 24, 2017
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


Unlike teens, young children can’t readily talk about feelings, don’t sit in one place, and often can’t follow rules and directions, even when you’re playing a game. So how can you incorporate these crucial family members into your sessions in a way that’s both manageable and productive? This workshop will demonstrate how to apply the principles of Theraplay, a model based on affective neuroscience and attachment theory, to increase a sense of caring and trust between family members. 


- PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 4.0 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Dafna Lender, LCSW's Profile

Dafna Lender, LCSW Related seminars and products

The Theraplay Institute

Dafna Lender, LCSW, is an international trainer and supervisor for practitioners who work with children and families. She is a certified trainer and supervisor/consultant in both Theraplay and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) and an EMDR therapist. Dafna’s expertise is drawn from 25 years of working with families with attachment in many settings: at-risk after school programs, therapeutic foster care, in-home crisis stabilization, residential care and private practice. Dafna’s style, whether as a therapist or teacher, is combining the light-hearted with the profound by bringing a playful, intense and passionate presence to every encounter. Dafna is the author of Integrative Attachment Family Therapy (2023) and co-author of Theraplay® - The Practitioner’s Guide (2020).


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dafna Lender maintains a private practice. She is a published author and receives royalties. She receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dafna Lender is an author for Psychotherapy Networker.

Phyllis Booth, MA Related seminars and products

Phyllis Booth, Clinical Director Emerita of The Theraplay Institute in Chicago. Along with Ann Jernberg , she created the Theraplay method for helping children and families with attachment and relationship problems. Primary author 3rd edition of Theraplay: Helping Parents and Children Build Better Relationships Through Attachment-Based Play (Jossey-Bass, 2010).

Speaker Disclosure:
Financial: Phyllis Booth is the Clinical Director Emerita of the Theraplay Institute. She is an author for Jossey-Bass and receives royalties. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Phyllis Booth has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.


  • Welcome
    • Introduction to Objectives
    • Obstacles of Including Children in Therapy
    • What is Theraplay?
  • The Beginning of Theraplay
    • Head Start
    • Importance of Play
    • Attachment
    • Regulating
  • Family Therapy and Play
    • Relationship Building
  • Theraplay Parental and Therapist Aspects & Dimensions
    • Modeling by Therapist for Parents
    • Structure Dimension
    • Engagement Dimension
      • Safety
      • Attunement
    • Nurture Dimension
      • Down Regulating
    • Challenge Dimension
    • Theraplay Case Examples
  • Theraplay Sessions
    • Who to Include and When to Include Them
    • Who to Start With
  • Theraplay and DDP
    • Nonverbal Communication
    • Rhythm
    • Eye Contact
    • Affect
    • Touch
    • Focus of Therapies
    • SCNC & PACE
    • Case Examples
      • Maintaining Window of Arousal
      • Monitoring Nonverbal Communication
    • Questions and Comments


  1. Describe a child’s needs to feel safe, trust, connect, and experience joy through the Four Dimensions of Relationship
  2. Articulate how to become a more effective communicator with children using G.R.E.A.T. (gesture, rhythm, eye contact, affect, and tone of voice)
  3. Summarize specific strategies to help optimize children’s involvement in therapy
  4. Articulate effective methods for using rhythmic movement and touch to create connection and help improve client engagement

Target Audience

Psychologists, Physicians, Addiction Counselors, Counselors, Social Workers, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, and other Behavioral Health Professionals

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