Parents are the most important adults in their child’s life. It makes sense for parents to be actively included in the therapeutic process of play therapy. Parents play a vital role in accurate assessment and successful outcomes.
Parent consultation creates opportunities for parents to gather information about their child’s functioning and learn new ways to help their child be successful at home and at school. At times, the play therapist will invite parents to participate in Filial Therapy training.
What is filial therapy?
Filial Therapy strives to enhance a child-parent relationship by empowering the parent with new and innovative ways to interact with their child. This unique form of therapy provides an environment in which the child receives concentrated attention from the parent, thus lessening the anxiety of the child and allowing him or her to unlearn behavior patterns that lead to miscommunication.
Parents are given the skills necessary to practice effective listening and respond to a child’s emotions as well as tools to help encourage the enhancement of the child’s self-esteem. Therapists teach the parents how to set therapeutic limits and utilize principles of play therapy, at-home sessions, and how to provide an authentically accepting and understanding atmosphere in which their child will find security to explore their own emotions and the relationship with their parent.
What can you expect?
Over time and with clear and concise instruction, the parent learns to set specific limits and engage the child in consistent and dedicated sessions involving play. The result is an environment in which the child begins to feel accepted and learns to express themselves in a socially adaptable and acceptable manner that resides within the limits set by the parent.
The child eventually begins to see the relationship with the parent in a new light and learns to respond according to the model developed in the sessions.