Product Detail

Theraplay® Interventions for Your Most Oppositional & Challenging Children
DVD Video
$199.99 USD
Now Available For Preorder
Product Details
DVD Video - 4+ hours   Instructions
Multi-disc DVD recording with electronic manual and instructions.
PESI Publishing & Media
7/21/2017 - Available Now for Pre-Order
CE Available:
Yes, See CE credit tab for complete continuing education details
Product Code:
  1. Describe the purpose of each of the four Dimensions of Relationship: Structure, Engagement, Nurture and Challenge.
  2. Assess child behavior to determine which of the four dimensions a child is in need of.
  3. Demonstrate one activity from each dimension.
  4. Compare and contrast interventions to focus and calm an overactive/chaotic child.
  5. Discuss interventions that turn a child’s resistance into cooperation.
  6. Implement techniques for effectively capturing a child’s attention.
  7. List methods for reengaging an angry/discouraged parent.


The 4 Dimensions of Theraplay®

To Address Behavioral Problems and Gain Connection Cooperation

  • Structure: organization and safety
  • Engagement: connection, joy, co-regulation of strong emotions
  • Nurture: calming, emotional nourishment, secure base
  • Challenge: recognition, ride, celebration of self

Calm an Overactive/Aggressive/Oppositional Child

  • Strategies to prevent outbursts and trauma-based aggression (The P.R.O.M.P.T. method)
    • Proximity
    • Rhythm
    • Optimal Movement
    • Touch response
  • Techniques to identify non-verbal signs of stress
  • Activities for turning resistance into a connecting experience
  • Video case example: transformation from aggressive & uncooperative to focused & relaxed

Engage the Disconnected Child

  • Strategies to capture and keep a child’s attention (The G.R.E.A.T. method)
    • Gesture
    • Rhythm
    • Eye contact
    • Affect
    • Tone communication
  • Activities that children can’t resist getting involved in
    • Cotton ball war
    • Shaving ball pass
  • Interventions to turn passivity into cooperation
    • Aluminum foil print
    • Paper punch
  • Techniques to make sense of non-verbal communication & get child to start talking
    • Cotton ball blow
    • Balloon pass
  • Video case example: before and after of clients ages 1-17

Promote Positive Parent-Child Relationship

  • Activities to strengthen the parent-child attachment
    • Cotton ball hockey
    • Mirror mirror
    • Measuring
  • Techniques to increase empathy by using eye contact, touch and turn-taking
    • Eye signal dance
    • Slippery slip
  • Activities that create and solidify connection by fostering moments of joy
    • Balancing pillows
    • Feather decorate
  • Interventions to decrease arguments and gain cooperation
    • Identify a child engaging in a power struggle before they do
    • Identify when oppositionality is really a trauma reaction
    • Empathy to melt oppositional behaviors
    • Know when to cool it
  • Strategies to increase self-esteem and make a child feel unique
    • Special snack
    • Twinkle song
    • Favorite things
    • Powder prints
  • Video case example: high and low functioning clients


Dafna Lender, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked in the field of child welfare and child mental health for 20+ years. Dafna serves as the program director at The Theraplay Institute in Evanston, IL and is certified as a practitioner, supervisor and trainer in both Theraplay and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). Dafna trains psychotherapists internationally in these methods and trains in three languages.

Dafna’s focus is children’s development of a secure attachment with their caregivers while resolving issues in their traumatic history. Early in her career, Dafna worked in treatment foster care and witnessed child after child “fail” out of foster placements due to difficult behavior. Children were disruptive, unsettled and unhappy, and their caregivers felt defeated. Dafna’s sense of discouragement went way after taking the Theraplay training and learning direct, concrete ideas and interactions that she could apply in home with her treatment families to promote healthier, stable relationships. Dafna has successfully treated children with a variety of backgrounds, including children raised in orphanages, with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, exposed to domestic violence and community violence and children of parents with chronic mental illness.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Dafna Lender has an employment relationship with The Theraplay Institute. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-Financial: Dafna Lender has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.
Continuing Education Credits

CE Information Coming Soon
Continuing education credit information is coming soon for this self-study package.

CEs may be available for select professions, as listed in the target audience. Hours will be dependent on the actual recording time. Please check with your state licensing board or organization for specific requirements.

There may be an additional fee for CE certificates. Please contact our Customer Service at 1-800-844-8260 for more details.

**Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.

Case Managers, Counselors, Teachers/Educators, Marriage & Family Therapists, Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants, Physical Therapists/Physical Therapist Assistants, Play Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists, and other Mental Health Professionals