Paraverbal Communication and Why It Works

  • Evelyn Phillips Heimlich
  • Arlene J. Mark


Paraverbal Communication is a multisensory, interactive method developed to help therapists who work with unresponsive children unable to be reached by traditional means. Briefly, the term paraverbal means parallel with verbal. This means that speech is frequently substituted for by a rich sensorimotor armamentarium of therapeutic materials for interactive communication by the therapist and child. These interactions are known as maneuvers and are used according to the child’s moment-to-moment needs and behavior as observed by the therapist. In other words, basic to Paraverbal Communication is the idea that speech and dialogue, when used in the treatment of the resistant child, are themselves often threatening and inhibit communication.


Clay Tempo Paral Dial Metaphor 


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  2. Heimlich, Evelyn P. 1973. Using a patient as “assistant therapist” in Paraverbal Therapy. Int J Child Psychother 2: 13–52.Google Scholar
  3. Mittleman, B. 1954. Motility in infants, children, and adults. Psychoanal Study Child 9: 142–177.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evelyn Phillips Heimlich
  • Arlene J. Mark

There are no affiliations available

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