Filial Therapy

Filial Therapy

Play Therapy @ Perth Childrens CounsellingEmpowering parents: Filial Therapy – when parents assist directly in their child’s therapy

Filial Therapy is Play Therapy which directly involves parents, teaching them how to become therapeutic change agents for their own children. While it is a therapy directed at parents, this approach can effectively help many children with issues that are worked with through Play Therapy. Evidence-based research shows that Filial Therapy can be as effective as Play Therapy with a therapist – and sometimes, even more so. It is currently not well known in Australia, but used relatively widely in the USA and UK.

Filial Therapy is very effective as an early intervention approach
Catching an issue early on is always helpful. Filial Therapy is a powerful early intervention that up-skills parents at a time of need: they understand their child better and training provides them with the skills to help their child should issues re-emerge.

What Does Filial Therapy Involve?
In Filial Therapy, parents are taught how to participate in and set up special, weekly, therapy-strength playtimes.  As well as being powerfully therapeutic, these playtimes are deeply enjoyable for the child and parent.  Training is experiential, so you will be supervised when practicing parenting skills in special playtimes, and learning how to play therapeutically with your child.

Benefits of Filial Therapy
Parents (1) feel empowered, (2) improve/refine their parenting skills (3) provide therapeutic-quality support for their child. Parents are systematically trained to use specific skills during Filial Therapy playtimes.  These skills are very similar to good parenting skills, so the benefits of training are useful for everyday life.  Parents are supervised throughout the Filial Therapy process to ensure that the therapy runs as smoothly as possible.  Every family is unique, so training and supervision is tailored to the needs of each family.

Capture 3Filial Therapy develops the quality of the parent-child relationship.
The one-on-one quality time you spend playing in this way will strengthen and deepen your bond with your child.  Click here for a YouTube video of Louise Guerney, the pioneer of Filial Therapy talk about Filial Therapy and how it can help your child.

Filial Therapy’s benefits extend long after therapy is over
“……The most important aspect of Filial Therapy is that the program focuses on the relationship between parent and child. It is this relationship, which will continue long after the professionals are out of the picture, and it is the positive changes in the interaction cycle that are healing….” (Pernet, K. , Play Therapy Vol. 6, Issue 3, September 2011).  This close relationship is the foundation will help you when you navigate the potentially tricky teenage years.

Su Olly 2Filial Therapy can be an investment.
The parent-child relationship is an important and powerful force in a child’s life.  This relationship is the bedrock that sets the stage for the child’s future ability to cope with crises and provides a template for how children interact with other people and with life in general.  It can help your child work through and heal from current issues.

Parents (and children) enjoy Filial Therapy.
Since playing in this way with your child is not harmful, some parents continue to play with their child in this way when the issues have been dealt with, simply because they enjoy these 1:1 playtimes as much as their child does.  Busy parents are helped by scheduling a play time like this into their week because they can know, for certain, that this kind of playtime helps them ensure they are having quality 1:1 time with their child weekly.

Filial Therapy may help your child with a very wide variety of issues: ring us or email to talk about how this can apply to your specific situation.

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