Trainings and assessments

Trainings are offered at Pilke (see front page) or you can ask for an offer to have a training at your site (

  • Observations for Parent-Child Interaction
  • MIM-method training /EIS-scoring
  • Play- and School aged Children (4 days)
  • Pregnancy, Infancy, and Toddlerhood (3 days)
  • Family MIM (1 day)


Training involves introduction to Marshak Interaction Method (MIM; Marschak, 1960), and Emotional Interaction Style Scoring (EIS; Salo & Mäkelä, 2006; Salo, 2010). MIM ia a semistructured observation usinh playful tasks (e.g., ”put funny hats on each other”). 9-dimension scoring system (EIS) was developed to aid scoring of e.g., adult structure/child co-operation, engagement, nurture, playfullness.  MIM was originally developed in relation to Theraplay Therapy (, but it can also be used independently as an clinical assesment tool.

During the training theory of early relationships, and observational methods are covered. Scoring and interpretation is practiced through 10 training dyads. Reflective feedback, and an interview tool for parents is introduced.


Introduction to Emotional Availability Scales (EAS, 4th ed) (3 days)

Pregnancy Adaptation

Prechool- and Schoolage Scales

Emotional Availability (EA; Biringen & Easterbroks, 2012) theory analyzes the parent-child relationship emphasizing emotionality. According to EA theory, parental ability to respond affectively to child’s expression is relevant to optimal child development. Being emotionally available means also that the child can achieve mastery and independence. EA comprises parental sensitivity, structuring, non-hostility and non-intrusiveness and  from the child’s side responsiveness and involvement. The training is conducted in collaboration with the scale developer, Prof. Zeynep Biringen (, who will be responsible for the reliability part of the training.


Child Assesments

Bayley-Scales (3ed) is a developmental test battery aimed at assessing the cognitive and socio-emotional development of 0-3 year old children.



Theraplay-Trainings (Level 1, Level 2). In collaboration with the Finnish Theraplay Instute and with permission from the Theraplay Institute/Chicago (

Theraplay is a child and family therapy for building and enhancing attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. It is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parent and child and is personal, physical, and fun. Theraplay interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge. Theraplay sessions create an active, emotional connection between the child and parent or caregiver, resulting in a changed view of the self as worthy and lovable and of relationships as positive and rewarding.

In treatment, the Theraplay therapist guides the parent and child through playful, fun games, developmentally challenging activities, and tender, nurturing activities. The very act of engaging each other in this way helps the parent regulate the child’s behavior and communicate love, joy, and safety to the child. It helps the child feel secure, cared for, connected and worthy.


Nurture and Play – Intervention (for families/ Pregnant Mothers).

Nurture and Play – parent-child intervention is a short-term intervention based on Theraplay-therapy (www, and mentalizing theory.  Through active, playful interaction sessions utilizing reciprocal activities focusing on synchronicity and mirroring, and reflective videofeedback  with the parents the aims are

  • To help parents to set limits and provide an appropriately ordered environment and encourage the child’s agency through developmentally attuned play  (Structure, Challange)
  • To engage the child in interaction while being attuned to the child’s state (Engagement)
  • To meet the child’s needs for attention, soothing and care (Nurture, Secure base)
  • And to facilitate the child’s ability to respond to the caregivers’ efforts


Nurture and Play can be delivered to one parent-child dyad, family setting (Nurture and Play- Family) or in a group, starting already in pregnancy (Nurture and Play- Group). It is designed as an easily delivered intervention applicable to be used in various settings (home visits, clinical settings). It  can be combined with other ways of working with parents and children, or as a mini-intervention in itself.  In Nurture and  Play there are ca. 6 meetings (NP-F), or 4 (pregnancy)+ 8  (parent-infant) meetings (NP-Group).  The age group is between 0-5.


The learning objectives are:
  • Theoretical basis of intervention (attachment framework, emotional availability theory, mentalizing theory)
  • Empirical basis of intervention (results from RCT study with depressed pregnant mothers; Salo et al., 2016)
  • Knowledge of how to conduct pre Assessment phase: Nurture and Play -interview
  • Knowledge of how to conduct Nurture and Play in practice: play sessions and reflective videofeedback


MBT-F (Mentalizing Based treatment for Families). In collaboration with the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Youth.

MBT-F focuses on the application of mentalizing ideas to work with families, and will be of great relevance to those who already work therapeutically with children and families. The four-day training will focus primarily on the clinical practice of MBT-F, through extended role play, video watching and video recorded practice. The training will provide a thorough introduction to core skills used in MBT-F including

  • the clinician’s stance,
  • interventions to promote mentalizing between family members,
  • and to disrupt non-mentalizing patterns of relating.

The course is delivered in two parts, each consisting of two consecutive days.

Days 1 and 2 are devoted, in part, to the theory and research base of mentalization based treatment. There is a lively introduction to clinical skills, with opportunities to begin practising the core features of the MBT-F model.

Days 3 and 4 allow intensive practice of a wider range of MBT-F techniques, including games and activities suitable for children, under the supervision of the MBT-F trainers. In this part we also introduce tools of assessment for the clinician’s adherence to the MBT-F model, and for assessing mentalizing capacity within a family. Finally, we provide an opportunity to practice newly acquired skills with actors taking the roles of family members, on video.