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Integrative Attachment Family Therapy

A Clinical Guide to Heal and Strengthen the Parent-Child Relationship through Play, Co-regulation, and Self Connection

Dafna Lender, LCSW |  Molly Gage, PhD
Publication Date:
Aug 08, 2023
PESI Publishing
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A stronger bond between parents and children can repair family dynamics.

Integrated attachment family therapy (IAFT), developed by family therapy expert Dafna Lender, is a multidimensional framework that heals and strengthens attachment issues in the parent-child relationship. Grounded within the principles of Theraplay, dyadic development psychotherapy, and polyvagal theory, this powerful framework addresses a variety of problematic and difficult behaviors in children (e.g., frequent arguments and tantrums, disobedience, and indifference) as well as reactive behaviors in parents (e.g., yelling, pleading, threatening, and giving up or giving in).

How does it work? Rather than attempting to “fix” the child – fixing their anger issues or defiance, for instance - IAFT treats the underlying cause of family strife: a misalignment in the parent-child relationship where the child does not feel deeply understood or accepted. By focusing on the physiologic sense of safety and connection between the parent and child, IAFT helps clinicians uncover the reasons for this misalignment so they can guide families toward the source of the issue rather than focusing on superficial behaviors. With its innovative, yet accessible, play-based activities and interventions, IAFT transforms families into happy and well-functioning environments where children thrive and parents feel satisfied in their role.



Dafna Lender, LCSW's Profile

Dafna Lender, LCSW Related seminars and products

The Theraplay Institute

Dafna Lender, LCSW, is an international trainer and supervisor for practitioners who work with children and families. She is a certified trainer and supervisor/consultant in both Theraplay and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). Dafna's expertise is drawn from 25 years of working with families with attachment in many settings: at-risk after school programs, therapeutic foster care, in-home crisis stabilization, residential care and private practice. Dafna's style, whether as a therapist or teacher, is combining the light-hearted with the profound by bringing a playful, intense and passionate presence to every encounter. Dafna is the co-author of Theraplay: The Practitioner's Guide (2020). She teaches and supervises clinicians in 15 countries in 3 languages: English, Hebrew and French.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dafna Lender is the founder of Dafna Lender Psychotherapy Training and Consulting. She receives royalties as a published author. Dafna Lender receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Non-financial: Dafna Lender has no relevant non-financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Molly Gage, PhD Related seminars and products

Molly Gage, PhD, is a book developer and developmental editor who specializes in transformative nonfiction.


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