attachment disorder therapy



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Dafna Lender, LCSW

Dafna Lender is a licensed clinical social worker and is a Certified Theraplay Therapist and trainer. She holds the position of Training Director for The Theraplay® Institute. In her previous professional roles, Dafna was a foster care case worker for specialized children and a therapist for children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and orphanage neglect. She is a Registered Clinician with the Association for the Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children. Dafna travels throughout the world teaching clinicians about working with children with issues of attachment and trauma. Most recently Dafna taught in Scandanavia, Spain, the UK and Israel. Dafna is also a clinical supervisor of many students both nationally and internationally.

Dafna’s main area of interest is in children with serious psychological problems caused by histories of abuse, neglect, trauma and/or multiple placements. Dafna’s focus is children’s development of a secure attachment with their caregivers while resolving issues in their traumatic history. Dafna co-authored two chapters in the 3rd edition (2010) of the Theraplay book on working with traumatized children and working with adoptive/foster children in Theraplay. She wrote the chapter “Therapeutic Use of Self in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy” in Creating Capacity for Attachment, published in 2005. Theraplay as well as Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy are the treatment models which are the basis for Dafna’s work with children and families.

Dafna lives with her husband and daughter in Chicago, Illinois.

For therapy, consultation or training, contact Dafna at or (847) 256-7334.






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