What is filial therapy?
In filial therapy, the therapist trains the parents/caregivers of the child to become the therapeutic agent(s). Parents/caregivers are coached as to how to provide non-directive “special play time” with their child.
With what kinds of problem can filial therapy help?
Filial therapy has helped children and families with issues affecting children such as: depression, anxiety, mood regulation, attachment issues, oppositional behaviors, perfectionism, and trauma. Filial therapy has also been proven helpful for family concerns such as: abuse/neglect, chronic illness, divorce, family relocation, family reunification, grief and loss, relationship problems, substance abuse, etc.
How can play help?
For children, play is their natural way of finding solutions to problems, of exploring their worlds, of bringing meaning and healing to their lives. By joining them in their world and speaking in their language of play, you can discover more about their perspectives.
Why is filial therapy used with children ages 3 – 12?
As children relate their emotions, desires, dreams, and goals through the language of play, filial therapy is the developmentally appropriate therapy method for understanding and helping children ages 3 to 11 years. Children under the age of 3 years may not be able to play imaginatively or construct a cohesive narrative of their world.
What is different about a filial play session?
What does the parent do?
For the initial session, just you and I meet and I will train you how to begin working with your child. The next session you then work with your child at home during “special playtime”. The next week, you and I have a 30 minute discussion, to review your session with your child. I provide coaching and support to help you develop your skills and to help you work more with play themes. The next 4-6 sessions are conducted in the same manner.
What happens after a parent is doing play sessions at home?
You will then have a weekly “special play time” at home and also meet weekly with me to talk about your home play sessions. It is likely themes will strengthen or emerge and this helps you better appreciate and understand your child’s motivations and challenges.
What does the parent learn?
Filial therapy can help parents: