2nd UK Theraplay Conference

“Theraplay® in Action”
University of Leicester, Stamford Court, LE2 2LH
11th & 12th September 2017

The Theraplay community in the UK is gathering a number of renowned practitioners to showcase application of Theraplay in a variety of clinical and other settings. Focusing on Individual, family and group work. And a whole lot more…….

11th September 2017 – £140
12th September 2017 – £140
Both Days – £240
For more information or to register your interest, please contact: Theraplay@exeteralc.com




Conference Speakers


Sandra Lindaman, MA, MSW, LCSW, is a Certified Theraplay® Therapist, Supervisor and Trainer, and the Senior Training Advisor for The Theraplay® Institute in Evanston, Illinois, USA. She has a master’s degree in social work from Loyola University-Chicago, and completed a one-year clinical externship in the Family Systems Program at the Institute for Juvenile Research, University of Illinois-Chicago. She also has a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from North-western University and worked in that field for many years. She has been with The Theraplay® Institute since 1990, served as Executive Director from 1993 to 1999, and currently serves on the research and training committees. She co-authored three chapters in the 2010 third edition of Theraplay: Helping Parents and Children Build Better Relationships Through Attachment-Based Play. Recently she authored chapters on Theraplay in books on the Clinical Applic ation of Polyvagal Theory and Play Therapy for Children with Anxiety. In Summer 2017 she represented Theraplay at an International Play Therapy Study Group held in the UK. Sandra has been very involved in the training an d supervision of professional s in the Theraplay model throughout the United States, Canada, England, Finland, Denmark, Japan, South Korea and Sweden. In 2004 she received the Ann M. Jernberg award for outstanding contribution to Theraplay.

pip Pip McGirl earned her Doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Bristol, England. She practiced as an educational psychologist in the UK before moving to Chicago in 2010.  As a lead for the UK Targeted Mental Health for Schools (TaMHS) initiative Dr McGirl developed the ‘Mental Health Skills for Schools’ program and pathways for multidisciplinary, ecological assessment and intervention for children and young people with behaviour difficulties arising from complex neuro developmental conditions and trauma. Dr McGirl is currently Associate Professor in School Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and former Research Director at The Theraplay Institute.  She continues to research and develop whole school initiatives to support the needs of students with complex social and emotional needs. Dr McGirl also teaches with the International Psychology Department, The Chicago School.  She has a research interest in positive psychology, building community resilience and healing in the context of disaster preparedness and response.  Dr McGirl and is actively involved in collaborations with University of Rwanda, College of Education, and University of Hue, Vietnam to introduce School Counselling and School Psychology programs there.

donnaDonna Gates, MA, LCPC, is a Certified Theraplay Therapist, Trainer, and Supervisor who worked for the past 20 years in private practice at David L. Gates and Associates in Gurnee, IL and Park Ridge, IL.  During that time, she has done individual, couples, and family therapy as well as domestic violence treatment, anger management treatment for adults and children, and parenting training and consultation.  In addition, Donna spent time working with a program for teen moms, called Families in Touch (FIT), teaching parenting skills, life skills, and issues of domestic violence, as well as   developing a program for the children of those moms and supervising college students assisting in the program.  Currently she is Staff Trainer/Supervisor at The Theraplay Institute.

Donna obtained her B.A. in Theology from Berkshire Christian College in Massachusetts before working with Campus Life/Youth for Christ in New York City. She then went on to obtain her M.A. in Counselling Psychology from Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. More recently she has trained in Dan Hughes’ DDP (Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy) model as well as in TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention) with Karyn Purvis and David Cross of Texas Christian University.

Donna has been a presenter at the Theraplay International Conference and has written two articles for the Theraplay Newsletter, one on the use of Theraplay in Domestic Violence treatment groups and the other on the reparative effects of Theraplay in the treatment of families who have experienced family violence. Donna is the mother of 2 daughters and has 8 grandchildren, all of whom enjoy helping her practice Theraplay activities.

elaineElaine Fletcher-Janzen, Ed.D., NCSP, ABPdN, obtained her doctorate in School Psychology from the College of William and Mary in 1993, and has been a school psychologist in the public schools, neuropsychiatric inpatient, and university settings for the past 33 years. Dr. Fletcher-Janzen received her Diplomat in Paediatric Neuropsychology in 2010. She is currently a Professor of School Psychology at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Chicago, Illinois and Past President of the American Academy of Paediatric Neuropsychology.

Dr. Fletcher-Janzen has co-edited and authored sixteen books and reference works including the Encyclopedia of Special Education (Wiley) and the Diagnostic Desk Reference of Childhood Disorders (Wiley). She has recently published the Neuropsychology of Women (Springer), the third edition of the Handbook of Clinical Child Neuropsychology (Springer), and Neuropsychological Perspectives on the Diagnosis of Learning Disabilities in the Era of RTI with John Wiley & Sons.

Dr. Fletcher-Janzen’s research interests address neuropsychological aspects of trauma and affective regulation, cross-cultural aspects of cognitive abilities, and neuropsychological management of paediatric chronic illness in school and clinical settings.

Dr. Fletcher-Janzen is a member of the International School Psychology Association, the International Neuropsychological Society, the American Academy of Paediatric Neuropsychology, and the National Association of School Psychologists.

 vivienDr Vivien Norris, DClinPsy, DipMusicTh, Dr Vivien Norris is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and Music Therapist. She is also a Certified Theraplay® Therapist and Theraplay® Trainer and an accredited Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Practitioner, Consultant and Trainer. Vivien has been working as a Clinical Psychologist within the NHS in the UK for over twenty years specialising in therapeutic work with families and in the area of fostering and adoption. She has a longstanding interest in trauma and has worked in various roles in the field, in therapeutic communities with adolescents and leading national research into the impact of the Asian tsunami. Alongside part time NHS work, Vivien is Clinical Director of The Family Place, an independent organisation providing flexible therapeutic interventions for families. Her main area of interest is in children with severe difficulties in forming relationships, arising from histories of abuse, neglect and trauma. Her clinical approach centrally includes foster carers and adopters in interventions and combines approaches to address complex difficulties. Vivien has many years’ experience delivering training. She has contributed to publications in the area of self-harm and the impact of trauma.

 saraSara Yorke BSc in Social science and Healthcare from Southampton University, PGDipCIM from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and is an accredited coach, counsellor and NLP practitioner. Sara is the founder and MD of Relationship Matters (RML), which has been providing counselling, coaching, training and consulting services to individuals, families and companies since 2000. Sara started RML following a successful career in global strategic marketing, within blue chip companies. During this work she recognised the critical link between the wellness of the individual and the organisation and their relationships with others, in addressing issues and achieving aspirations. This formed the guiding principles of her future work with rml. She started training and working with Theraplay while living in Chicago in 2009, and since her return has worked as the Consulting Director for Theraplay in the UK. She is now a Theraplay UK Partner and supports the development of key accounts in the UK and exploring new opportunities for expanding the scale and scope of Theraplay’s UK activity.

heatherHeather Moran, Consultant Child Clinical Psychologist. Heather has worked with children and young people with relationship difficulties for over thirty years in a variety of settings.  This has included being a residential social worker and then a teacher in a residential special school for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, a foster carer on a specialist scheme for challenging children, an educational psychologist and, since 1997, a clinical psychologist.  Heather and her husband have four adopted children.  For 11 years she co-facilitated a therapeutic group for adolescent girls who were depressed and self-harmed, most of whom had significant attachment difficulties.  She is the clinical lead for psychological therapies in the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust’s new Neurodevelopmental Team, providing assessment and intervention for youngsters with ASD and their families.  She is also involved teaching Personal Construct Psychology on the Personal Construct Association’s foundation course and on the Birmingham University Educational Psychology Doctorate Course.

 AnnieAnnie Kiermaier, LCSW, RN, is a certified Theraplay therapist, trainer, and supervisor.  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.”   Annie has a lifelong passion for helping parents and their children have healthy, joyful attachment relationships.  After a 10-year career as a registered nurse, Annie provided home and office-based mental health therapy to families of young children in Mid-Coast Maine for 23 years, working with a wide variety of problems including families with attachment and trauma histories. She has been a full time Theraplay trainer since 2013.

 EllenEllen Wallace M.A. Executive Principal Woodnewton Academy Trust – Ellen Wallace trained at the Foebel Educational Institute in London.  She taught in Inner London and Leicestershire before becoming Headteacher at Woodnewton Way Infant School, Corby in 1991.

During her Headship, she has overseen several changes of school status, the amalgamation of the Infant School with the neighbouring Junior School, the integration of a Children’s Centre and the establishment of a Designated Special Provision Nurture Group. In 2013, Ellen became Executive Principal of the Woodnewton Academy Trust. She has been seconded to a number of schools in Special Measures and been a keynote speaker at the Early Childhood Convention in New Zealand. She recently completed an MA in Integrated Provision for Children and Families which upon finishing, she noticed her own children had finally left home! When not working she enjoys sea fishing, watching cricket and admits to being a closet fan of Star Trek.


See below for some great moments from the First UK Theraplay Conference in 2015: