Dafna Lender, LCSW, is a certified trainer, supervisor and consultant in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and Theraplay, and co-author of Theraplay: The Practitioner’s Guide. Dafna served as the program director at The Theraplay® Institute in Evanston, IL for 16 years. Dafna trains psychotherapists all over the world and trains in three languages English, French and Hebrew.
Dafna’s focus is children’s development of a secure attachment with their caregivers while resolving issues in their traumatic history. Early in her career, Dafna worked in treatment foster care and witnessed child after child “fail” out of foster placements due to difficult behavior. Children were disruptive, unsettled and unhappy, and their caregivers felt defeated. Dafna’s sense of discouragement went away after taking the DDP training and learning direct, concrete ideas and interactions that she could apply in home with her treatment families to promote healthier, stable relationships. Dafna has successfully treated children with a variety of backgrounds, including children raised in orphanages, with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, exposed to domestic violence and community violence and children of parents with chronic mental illness.