Training and News

Check back here regularly to find out what's going on at Theraplay South West. Please make contact if you would like a training or event advertised here. 


Group Theraplay Training for professionals working with Adolescents.

On 7th & 8th March 2019 in Keysham Community Space, (above Keynsham library) Civic Centre, Market Walk, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 1FS. 

The training will take place from 9am to 5pm and will be delivered by Certified Theraplay trainers Annie Kiermaier and Ali Cliffe. 

This training is for professionals who want to use Theraplay in classrooms, residential settings or group settings and is especially focused on those working with older children and teens. This training can be taken as a stand alone training. 

The cost is £475 including lunch, refreshments and handouts. 

Please contact Ali Cliffe at or for 


Group Theraplay Training

On 25th and 26th April 2019 in Keysham Community Space, (above Keynsham library) Civic Centre, Market Walk, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 1FS. 

The training will take place from 9am to 5pm and will be delivered by Certified Theraplay trainer Ali Cliffe. 

Group Theraplay training is for professionals who want to use Theraplay in classrooms, day care, residential settings or group settings. This training can be taken as a stand alone course. 

The cost is £475 including lunch, refreshments and handouts. 

Please see full details at the bottom of this page. 

Please contact Ali Cliffe at or for bookings and further information. 



Please contact us if you are interested in Theraplay Informed Group Work 


What is a Theraplay Informed Practice Group Programme?

Group Theraplay Informed Practice is a group adaptation of the Dyadic model based on working with one carer and child. The groups can be used for groups of children or groups of parents and their children.

Unlike other playgroup approaches, in a Theraplay informed play group, learning takes place on a non verbal level. Instead of talking about positive social behaviour, the group leader, parents and children interact socially and positively to model this in the group. Gradually positive messages from the groups become part of the child's internal sense of himself. When the child's needs for structure, engagement, nurture and challenge are attended to, the children and parents begin to internalize the experience and extend it towards others spontaneously.

The Theraplay Informed Practice group is an adult-directed, structured play group which incorporates playful, cooperative and nurturing activities that enhance emotional wellbeing. The Theraplay informed practice group fosters a child's self esteem, the sense of belonging, the ability to care for himself and others and the ability to develop increased trust. Leaders create an atmosphere of fun, caring, acceptance and encouragement which allows children to grow socially, emotionally and often intellectually.

Rather than using external controls, a Theraplay Informed group promotes internal self control and the desire to relate to others appropriately. Because a group is playful and upbeat, it appeals to children. It can also be a way to "teach" social and communication skills to older children. Finally, it is an excellent way to bring fun and exuberance into the lives of all children.

Theraplay Informed Practice groups, while considered a therapeutic intervention, can benefit all children and their families, not just those that need extra help. Today's children face increasing pressure to achieve and perform from an earlier age, and often with less consistent family support than was common in the past. These children can benefit from being appreciated not for what they accomplish, but just for who they are.


Aims, objectives and goals for parents and children in the Theraplay Informed Practice Group;

For parents

  • Increased attunement with your child
  • Increased comfort with nurturing care
  • Increased ability to play with your child
  • Increased ability to give your child a sense of safety and security with inherent boundaries
  • Increased comfort when holding, touching and coregulating your child's emotional state
  • Increased comfort with eye contact
  • Increased ability to engage your child
  • Empowering you to meet your child's needs in an attuned way.


For children

  • Increased trust in parent
  • Increased comfort with closeness and intimacy
  • Increased comfort with eye contact
  • Accepting nurture more readily from parent
  • Accepting boundaries and structure with less resistance
  • Having fun and enjoying their time with their parent
  • Ability to regress back to being 'reparented' as a baby in the care of their parent
  • To be touched in healthy ways by their parent
  • To feel safe with their parent

How will the Theraplay Informed Practice Group run?

The programme will start with an initial Information Workshop for parents/carers looking at Theraplay as a model, the content of the Programme and the ability to get to know other group members who will be attending sessions together.

Eight Group Theraplay informed sessions will then take place with the parent and child. Two Theraplay Informed Practitioners will support the families through the weeks. Feedback will be given using a Theraplay Informed Practice assessment tool. At the end of the eight sessions, a final feedback session with parents only takes place. The practitioners will present report to each parent looking at the positive outcomes for the families, any further recommendations of support needed, and gain feedback from  the parents about the course.


Group Training Poster
Group Training poster.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [80.2 KB]

Please contact us if you would like to discuss setting up a group in your area.

Workshops in Primary and Secondary Schools have taken place in Bristol since 2017 with more to follow in Bristol and Devon in 2019. Please contact us if you would like to explore having a workshop in your setting.

Print Print | Sitemap
Theraplay® South West. Theraplay® Informed Practice. Theraplay® is a registered trade mark of The Theraplay Institute, Evanston, IL, USA