Therapy Using Theraplay Principles
HOW THERAPLAY MIGHT SUPPORT CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
- Helping the adults and the children to play together.
- Helping the adults and the children through play to enhance the attachment
and relationship and build confidence in all the parties.
- Helping the adults and children through play to gain a greater understanding about
the child's development and patterns of behaviour so that the adults can relate to the
children in a more attuned manner.
Theraplay is an interactive therapy with a therapist guiding and leading a structured
programme of activities with the children and parents either in the home environment
or therapist's consulting room.
A basic Theraplay programme consists of between twenty-thirty sessions which include
preliminary sessions followed by the actual Theraplay play sessions. Included in this
package are individual sessions with the parents to view sections of the videos of the
sessions and a discussion about the progress and direction of the Theraplay programme.
The Theraplay programme may also include 'life story work'. This work can help the
child gain some understanding of his/her life and the reasons that led to the current
adoptive placement. Included in this is helping the child gain some 'emotional literacy'
about a range of thoughts and feelings that may be acted out in behaviours that are
seen as disruptive and difficult for the child.