Families play an important role in children’s healing processes. The interaction between children’s problems and their families is always complex. Sometimes children develop problems as a way of signaling that there is something wrong in the family. Other times the entire family becomes distressed because the child’s problems are so disruptive. In all cases, children and families heal faster when they work together.
The Play Therapist will make some decisions about how and when to involve some or all members of the family in the Play Therapy. At a minimum, the therapist will want to communicate regularly with the child’s caretakers to develop a plan for resolving problems as they are identified and to monitor the progress of the treatment. Also, sometimes the Play Therapist might request to work through Filial Play/Parent Play Coaching, in order to provide the best support for the whole family.
The therapeutic process can help children to…
- Take responsibility for their behaviour
- Come to understand the impact (cause and effect) of their behaviours
- Replace inappropriate behaviours with more effective and successful behaviours
- Gain greater acceptance of self and others
- Improve social skills
All this can help a family to improve their relationships between each other and build up the self-esteem for both children and parents.