Theraplay: Helping Parents and Children Build Better Relationships Through Attachment-Based Play, 3rd Edition


SKU: 9780470281666 Categories: , ,

Since the second edition was published in 1999, there have been major developments and changes in the theory and practice of Threaplay. This book provides a comprehensive update and revision of a classic resource for treating children and families struggling with a wide variety of problems. The book includes new research on attachment, childhood trauma, autism, among others, and explains how new advancements in neuroscience have informed and advanced Theraplay best practice. The book also contains new techniques for dealing with dysfunctional families, family disruptions, older adopted children, parental cooperation, and parental mental health.

Highlights include:

  • The theory and research that inform the core concepts of Theraplay
  • Working with families with adopted or foster children
  • Focusing on attument and regulation
  • Increasing parental involvement in treatment
  • Redefining structure and resistance
  • Treating complex trauma


  • Preface to the Third Edition ix
  • The Authors xvii
  • Introduction xxi
  • Part One: An Overview of the Theraplay Method 1
  • 1 Learning the Basics of the Theraplay Method 3
  • 2 Understanding the Theory and Research That Inform the Core Concepts of Theraplay 39
  • Phyllis B. Booth and Sandra Lindaman
  • 3 Research Findings That Support the Effectiveness of Theraplay 85
  • Rand Coleman
  • Part Two: Strategies for Theraplay Treatment 99
  • 4 Structuring Theraplay Treatment 101
  • 5 Working with the Child 159
  • 6 Working with Parents 203
  • Part Three: Specific Applications of Theraplay 263
  • 7 Theraplay for Children with Regulation Disorders 265
  • Annie Kiermaier
  • 8 Theraplay for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders 301
  • Sandra Lindaman and Phyllis B. Booth
  • 9 Theraplay for Children with Histories of Complex Trauma 359
  • Phyllis B. Rubin, Dafna Lender, and Jessica Mroz Miller
  • 10 Theraplay for Children Who Are Adopted or in Foster Care 405
  • Jessica Mroz Miller, Dafna Lender, Phyllis B. Rubin, and Sandra Lindaman
  • 11 Theraplay for Adolescents 449
  • William S. Fuller
  • 12 Group Theraplay 495
  • Phyllis B. Rubin
  • Appendix A Marschak Interaction Method: Recommended Basic List of Tasks 521
  • Appendix B Theraplay Activities by Dimension 525
  • References 547
  • Publications About Theraplay and the Marschak Interaction Method (MIM) 563
  • Index 593

Author Bio:

Phyllis B. Booth is clinical director of The Theraplay Institute in Chicago. Sheprovides training and supervision for Theraplay therapists throughout the world.

Ann M. Jernberg was the founder and director of The Theraplay Institute until her death in 1993. She provided the inspiration for the Theraplay approach and was theauthor of the first edition of this book.

The Theraplay Institute is an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to building strong families and emotionally healthy children and adults through training, treatment, advocacy, and research.


“The third edition of Theraplay successfully tackles the difficult question of how to address attachment-based trauma—healing wounds, teaching healthy relationship-building, and having fun—without re-traumatizing the already traumatized child. This is a first-class, step-by-step guide, which includes theory and rationale for the many Theraplay activities provided.” – Lark Eshleman, Ph.D, author of Becoming a Family: Promoting Healthy Attachments with Your Adopted Child and founder and CEO, Institute for Children and Families

“Phyllis Booth and colleagues have again brought to life this rich model of treatment for children and their parents. Theraplay is truly a gift provided to those of us who offer developmental assistance to children and their families.” – Dan Hughes, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Attachment-Focused Family Therapy and Attachment-Focused Parenting