Occasionally conventional therapies are not enough. This is where the Theraplay technique steps into its own. Theraplay was developed after many years of research and observation of how parent and child interacted with each other. It utilises the Marcharks Method of Interaction know as the MIM”S assessment.
The Theraplay setting provides the Parent and child with a safe place to provide positive experiences through play. The aim is to help repair the relationship between parent and child enabling them to have fun, learn to trust each other and adults, feel safe in the world and see themselves as lovable people. This approach utilizes parents in the therapeutic playroom to help heal the relationship, soothe the child and teach parents different ways to access their child emotionally.
What is 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.
So what happens in Theraplay
During the session, the therapist will lead the child through a series of simple, fun games and activities, while helping the child be successful and competent. This is carried out in a nurturing, healing and calming way. During the therapeutic session, it makes perfect sense to involve the parental/career into the process when appropriate. Allowing the parental figure ‘when ready’ to be the emotional anchor in the room enables the techniques to be practical in a safe environment, there by supporting the learning to the relationship at home allowing the family dynamic to heal. Parents are taught to recognize where a child is at developmentally, which often is NOT where the child is chronological. Educating the parent and joining together as a team are essential ingredients in a successful Theraplay experience. Theraplay is suitable for the child and one parent, a child and both parents, or the entire family.