Therapeutic Support » Theraplay® – Using the Principles of Theraplay®
Theraplay® is a child and family therapy for building and enhancing attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. It is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parent and child and is personal, physical, and fun. Theraplay® interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge. Theraplay® sessions create an active, emotional connection between the child and parent or caregiver, resulting in a changed view of the self as worthy and lovable and of relationships as positive and rewarding.
The Theraplay® Institute website
The process of Theraplay is quite different from traditional child therapy. In traditional therapy, the child is invited to take the lead in expressing himself through play, art, or other means. There may be considerable discussion of his feelings, past issues, or current problems. In Theraplay, the therapist takes the lead and decides which activities will happen, and sets the pace for the session, of course taking into account the needs of the child. Whenever possible, parents or other significant caretakers are involved in this process and asked to extend the therapy with activities at home. (Mullen, J.)