Filial Play Therapy, also known as Parent Play Coaching, is an unique therapeutic method that involves parents and caregivers directly as the agents of therapeutic change. Through this method, the parents and caregivers learn how to improve their child’s emotional state and behaviour through non-directive play.
In Filial Play Therapy, parents are trained to conduct non-directive play sessions with their child. The training process itself is positive and playful. Subsequently, the parent conducts these non-directive play sessions with their child under the supervision of the therapist, thus deeply hearing the child’s concerns and consequently strengthening the attachment with their child.
This approach not only helps to improve and strengthen the relationships between parents or caregivers and their children; it also encourage attachment behaviour, build self-esteem for both parent/caregiver and child, teach boundaries, increase listening skills, alleviate emotional and behaviour problems.
Filial Play Therapy is suitable for children between the ages of 3 and 11 or 12 years old.
Filial Play Therapy usually takes 3-6 months to complete, and may last longer with follow-up sessions. It is a very flexible model. As long as the essentials are taught to parents and the parents follow through, it can be adapted in various ways to meet the circumstances. It has been used successfully with many child and family problems: oppositional behaviors, anxiety, depression, perfectionism, abuse/neglect, single parenting, traumatic events, attachment/adoption/ foster care, relationship problems, divorce, family substance abuse, family reunification, chronic illness, and others.