Filial Play Therapy

Filial play therapy refers to parents doing a simple form of play therapy with their own children. Filial play works by strengthening parent-child relationships by building empathy or feelings of closeness. The principal feature of CPRT play sessions is the focus on the filial relationship wherein no attempt is made to teach skills, or modify behaviour. Play is the ‘primary medium for communicating the child’s feeling, needs, wants, wishes, fantasies, experiences and thoughts’ (Landreth & Bratton, 2006: p.16). Children express themselves symbolically through the play, and while parents are taught to be aware of possible meanings or themes emerging from the play, parents are not required to understand or interpret the play. While such understanding may be helpful to the parent, the therapeutic effects of CPRT do not necessitate active interpretation. The child leads the play at all times, and the parent attends to the child’s play or participates if invited by the child. The parent does not suggest a game or encourage the child to play in any particular way. The parent displays acceptance of the child at all times and does not correct the child even where the child makes an obvious factual error such as misnaming a toy.

In that way, children feel more accepted for who they are and emotional difficulties or behavioural issues improve significantly or go away entirely.

Cóilín teaches filial play over 10 individual sessions with you and your child.Sessions are accompanied by handouts and exercises for day to day practice.