Marschak Interaction Method Assessment and Theraplay

The Marschak Interaction Method (MIM) is a technique for the observation of adult and child as they perform a series of structured tasks together. The MIM has been found useful not only in the clinical evaluation of birth parent-child relationships but also in assessing the appropriateness of placement with foster or adoptive parents and in evaluating about how two parents interact when relation to their one child and how two or more siblings can elicit different responses in the same set of parents. The MIM has been used with parents and their adult children with very beneficial results to the relationship. It has also been used with teachers and with child care workers when there are problems in their relationship to particular children.
The Marschak Interaction Method is the assessment tool unique to Theraplay that is the basis of the treatment planning process.


Theraplay is a proactive, intensive, relationship focused parent-child therapy. It is a therapy through directive play between the child and the caregiver. Modelled on the natural patterns of healthy interaction between a parent and a child: the kind of interaction that leads to secure attachment and lifelong mental health. It employs the respectful, playful engagement of the child. This is achieved through guided interaction and reflection focused on the parent becoming more available, responsive and attuned to the child. Principles are based on attachment theory, intersubjectivity and brain research.

Who can benefit from Theraplay?

Children with a wide variety of presenting problems have been successfully treated using the Theraplay Model:

  • ADHD
  • OCD
  • PTSD
  • Withdrawn, depressed, fearful, shy
  • Acting Out, Angry, Non-Compliant
  • Autism Spectrum
  • Developmental Delay
  • Attachment Insecurity
  • RAD/Complex Trauma

Theraplay has been used for children from 0 years to 18 years.