Filial Play Therapy:
Attachment based Play Therapy
We believe parents have the greatest influence and potential to encourage positive change in their families. We, as therapists are meant to come into a child's life as a vehicle to healing and promote wellness and harmony. It is parents that need to have a lifelong healthy bond and support their children throughout their lifespan. Filial therapy is a counselling/ training process for parents to learn the basic concepts and principles of play therapy. There are several goals of filial therapy beginning with strengthening the attachments within the context of a family. Also to eliminate the presenting behavioural problems and identify the underlying reasons for unwanted behaviours, along with increasing the family’s ability to communicate and learn problem solving skills.
The practice has assisted many families who have decided to foster or adopt children to begin the lifelong process of attachment. Filial therapy will promote a healthy bond and provide parents with the confidence in their ability to parent. Playing with your child lets your child know they are loved and appreciated. It helps parents understand the wonderful uniqueness of their child and opens the door for good communication. Children gain self esteem, confidence and a deep sense of belonging. Adlerian Psychology believes that a negative self view is adopted if a sense of connectedness and belonging do not occur in childhood, which leaves an individual with long lasting negative effects.
Therapeutic goals for parents in filial therapy include the following:
- Assist caregivers/ parents in gaining a variety of skills which will result in better child-rearing results.
- Education on their child's developmental needs.
- To increase parent's awareness and understanding of the uniqueness of their child.
- To create an atmosphere were children feel loved and important to their parent.
- To increase parent's confidence in setting boundaries and limits.
- To open the doors of communication, love and respect.
- To foster parent's feelings of caring, warmth and trust toward their child.
- To allow a safe environment for a parent to work on their issues that may be blocking connection.
- Assist parents in making the commitment to continue this process of play long after the therapy is over.
- To aid parents to work together as a united team.