Compass Seminars Pty Ltd - Australasias leading professional development training provider and event managers, providing seminars for professionals who work with Children, Young People and Families.



Compass Seminars in partnership with The Theraplay® Institute brings two Theraplay® training courses to Queensland for the very first time. Book today to be amongst the first practitioners to access this training!

Theraplay® is an evidenced based short-term, attachment-focues intervention utilising non-symbolic, interactional play to re-create experiences of secure attachment formation between parent and child. The interactive sequences are carefully structured by the practitioner to make possible the pleasure of being together and shared enjoyment in the child's mastery. These elements of shared positive emotions are crucial in restructuring the attachment relationship towards greater organisation and security. Theraplay's® Core Concepts consist of interaction, here and now experience, adult guidance, attunement, right brain language, multisensory experience, and playfulness as well as the Theraplay® Dimensions of Structure, Engagement, Nurture and Challenge.

Whilst other therapies may work primarily with the child alone or simply work with parents/carers on managing the child’s behaviours, Theraplay® focuses on the parent/carer-child relationship which is the most powerful and influential element to create change. In treatment, the Theraplay® therapist guides the parent and child through playful, fun games, and developmentally nurturing and challenging activities. The very act of engaging each other in this way helps the parent regulate the child’s behaviour and communicate love, joy, and safety to the child. This results in the child's changed view of self as lovable and worthy of relationships that are positive and rewarding, along with building confidence in the parent’s capacity to parent. Theraplay® is an essential treatment modality for professionals who work with children and families to have in their skill set, and is a complimentary model to Dyadic Developmental Practice (developed by Dan Hughes).

Theraplay® has been used successfully to help:

  • Children with developmental trauma

  • Shy, withdrawn children

  • Overactive, controlling or aggressive children

  • Foster/adoptive children with attachment difficulties

  • Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Pervasive Development Disorder

  • Children with physical disabilities, developmental delays or those who are non-verbal

  • Children who live in group settings

  • Early childhood students and others who receive services in group settings

  • Achieve a quick change in the relationship dynamic of families that are “stuck” in negativity

Who should attend this training?

Practitioners working with children and families ranging from Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Social Workers, Clinical Counsellors, Family Therapists, Counsellors, Play Therapists, Special Education & Early Childhood Specialists, Teachers, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Residential Care Workers and Foster Support Workers.

Theraplay® One Day Introduction

This one day introductory level workshop is for those practitioners only wishing to understand the basics concepts of the Theraplay® model. You will learn:

  • History, core concepts and evidence base of Theraplay® and its link to attachment and neuroscience

  • The four dimensions of Theraplay: Structure, Engagement, Nurture and Challenge. A selection of activities for each of the dimensions .

  • What the Marshack Interaction Method (MIM) is and how it is used for assessment and treatment planning

  • How to determine when Theraplay® is appropriate for treatment.

  • How Theraplay® sessions are planned to meet the individual child's needs.

  • Explore the methods for involving parents in treatment.

  • How Theraplay® is adapted for different client populations.


1st March


Theraplay® Level 1 & MIM Training

This four day Level One training prepares participants to begin using Theraplay Informed Practice in their work. You will learn:

  • Administer the MIM and analyse it at a beginning level

  • Conduct feedback sessions with parents based upon the MIM analysis

  • Use the MIM as a guideline for Theraplay treatment planning

  • Observe demonstrations of Theraplay treatment and techniques

  • Practice Theraplay activities in dyads

  • Identify the types of behaviors that require a particular dimension

  • Utilise the four Theraplay dimensions to treat the specific needs of a child

  • Describe how Theraplay is applied to meet the needs of children with behavior problems, foster and adopted children, children with ASD, and older children

  • Describe how to guide parents to participate in a Theraplay treatment session

Special Features of this training:

  • Using video, we feature demonstration of treatment of a real client family including the MIM (Marschak Interaction Method) 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. Small groups maximise your learning experience with one trainer per twelve participants (max 36)

  • Real life examples from international leaders in the Theraplay® technique

  • The training concludes with the creation of a treatment plan for one of your own clients and a chance to practice it for feedback

We recommend beginning with an easier case to get practice and confidence before trying to work with complex families or trauma. Participants are referred to the Theraplay® book which underpins the approach (participants are advised to read chapters 1, 2 & 4 prior to attending). Further professional development opportunities to improve Theraplay skills are available, including Level Two training and Group Theraplay.

A MAXIMUM of 36 practitioners are permitted to attend.


2nd - 5th & 8th - 11th May






Annie Kiermaier

Annie is a clinical social worker in private practice, and a certified Theraplay® therapist and trainer. Annie has a lifelong passion for helping parents and their children have healthy, joyful attachment relationships. She provides home and office-based Theraplay® and parent consultation to families in Mid-Coast Maine, many of whom are involved in the child welfare system. She holds an MSW from the University of Maine at Orono, an A.D. in Nursing from the University of Maine at Augusta, and a B.A. from Earlham College in Richmond Indiana. Annie authored Chapter 7 of the 3rd edition of the Theraplay® book, "Theraplay for Children with Regulation Disorders.”

Kate Lewer

Kate is an Occupational Therapist and Senior Clinician at Nexus Health, Victoria. Kate is Australia’s only Certified Theraplay® therapist, supervisor and trainer.

*Facilitators subject to change.