At F&TP we are working towards becoming fully accredited ‘Theraplay’ practitioners. We draw on the healing power of play to help a parent to both regulate their child's behaviour and also communicate love, joy, and safety to their child, helping to create greater closeness between them.
This an approach that specifically guides a parent and a child through playful games, developmentally challenging and also tender, nurturing activities. Our practitioners guide parents/carers to create playful and caring child-adult interactions that foster joyful shared experiences. This copies early relationship experiences that are evidentially known to lead to secure attachment. Modern brain research and the field of neuroscience have shown that attachment is the way in which children come to understand, trust and thrive in their world.
Through a reciprocal and directive approach over a number of 1:1 sessions, parents learn to play with their child in a way that increases social engagement, nurtures their child’s ability to manage and use their feelings to meet their needs more helpfully. Playful Parent Child Therapy supports the development of positive self-esteem for both the child and the parent.
Strong attachment between the child and the important adults in their life has long been believed to be the basis of lifelong good mental health as well as the mainstay of resilience in the face of adversity. The sessions are designed to be fun, physical, personal, and interactive and replicate the natural, healthy interactions between parents and young children. All of our therapist at F&TP who offer this service are undertaking specific training in order to qualify to deliver this approach.
How can theraplay help?
As a result of Playful Parent Child Therapy, a child can feel more secure, cared for, connected and worthy. Greater attunement and improved understanding can develop between a parent/carer and their child. Playful Parent Child Therapy can increase a child's sense of felt safety/security and improve their capacity to regulate affect.
The sessions help parents/ carers to set clear expectations and limits, balanced with warmth and support. Their capacity to view their child empathically is increased along with their ability to help their child with stressful events.