MIM/D-EIS Training Model/ MIM-D/EIS koulutusmalli

MARSCHAK INTERACTION METHOD SKILLS TRAINING with Dyadic Emotional Interaction Style scoring (D-EIS) – Basic Training (4 days)


The Marschak Interaction Method (MIM; Marschak, 1960) is a structured technique for observing and assessing the overall quality and nature of relationships between caregivers and child. The Theraplay Institute (TTI; http://www.theraplay.org) owns the copyright for the MIM.  The MIM/D-EIS training model is conducted in collaboration with the TTI.

The MIM consists of a series of simple tasks designed to elicit behaviors in four primary dimensions in order to evaluate the caregivers’ capacity to:

  • Guidance, i.e.,
  •             Set limits and provide an appropriately ordered environment (Structure)
  •             Support and encourage the child’s efforts to achieve at a developmentally     appropriate level (Challenge
  • Engage the child in interaction while being attuned to the child’s state (Engagement)
  • Meet the child’s needs for attention, soothing and care (Nurture)
  • And the child’s ability to respond to the these caregivers’ efforts

The MIM takes from 30 to 60 minutes and is usually videotaped. There are sets of tasks designed to be used in each of four age groups: infant, toddler, pre-school/school age, and adolescent. There are also versions for pregnancy, families and romantic couples. Materials needed to perform the tasks are simple and readily available (such as blocks, squeaky toys, drawing paper).

D-EIS scoring system is a quantitative rating system developed specifically for scoring the Dyadic Parent-Child MIM. It consists of 9 variables rated on a Likert-Type 5-point scale tapping the the above mentioned dimensions both from the caregiver and the child’s perspectives (Salo & Mäkelä, 2006/2010; Salo & Booth, 2019): Parental Guidance/Child Co-operation (Structure and Challenge, also scored separately), Engament, Nurture, Playfullness and Parental Representation.

Combined MIM/D-EIS training includes clinical introduction how to use the MIM with diverse clinical cases including case examples from child psychiatric setting, family guidance centers, somatically/neurologically ill children. Learning how to use the D-EIS scales aids the clinican in making accurate observations and keeping interactional dimensions separate. It helps in treatment planning, assesment as well as monitoring change (pre- and post treatment evaluations). The principles of Reflective Video Feedback (RVF) – based on the parental mentalizing theory – are presented and practiced in the training.

The learning objectives of the 4-day (9-16.30) training are:

  • Background theory covering attachment, emotional regulation and parenting/mentalizing theories.
  • Knowledge of how to administer/interpret the MIM both using qualitative observation sheets, as well as a the D-EIS scoring using clinical training examples covering a wide range of examples of different emotional styles, and scoring points.
  • Introduction to Reflective Video Feedback, i.e., how to discuss the results with the parents using a short, video based intervention.

MATERIALS PROVIDED sent electronically 3 weeks before the course

  • D-EIS manual (Salo & Mäkelä, 2006; 2010) + scoring sheets
  • MIM interview for Parents
  • Qualitative Observation Sheet
  • RVF (Reflective Video Feedback) material for Parents
  • Handouts from the slides


This training is designed for

  • experienced clinicians (eg psychologists, psychiatrists, family therapists, psychotherapists, speech/language therapists) who wish to learn more about using a structured assessment to observe strengths and weaknesses in parent-child relationships for purposes of treatment planning

and also as a skill development opportunity for those who have taken Theraplay training


Trainings are organized upon request in Europe, please contact for further details: saara.salo@theraplay.fi