Filial Therapy uses play therapy to support families to make positive readjustments when their ability to function well has been impacted. This may be the result of children in the family experiencing social, emotional, or behavioural difficulties or when the family has been impacted by trauma or illness.
Filial Therapy helps parents or guardians to see the world through the eyes of their child and has been designed to train, educate, and supervise parents in using therapeutic skills in non-directive play sessions with their children, that they will continue to use beyond the intervention. Filial therapy can be applied as an intervention or as a prevention for strengthening the parent-child relationships.
Filial Therapy can be used in a variety of family situations, including:
- Children of divorce
- Children with school problems
- Children with anxiety/perfectionism or depression
- Adoptive/foster children
- Children with chronic illness
- Children with elimination issues
- Children of addicted/recovering parents
- Children with Attention deficit problems
- Abused and neglected children
- Children with attachment issues
- Children who have been exposed to DV
- Children with oppositional defiant disorder
- Children on the Autism spectrum
- Military families
- Children of First responders
- Families experiencing traumatic events
Filial Therapy takes place over 16-20 sessions and is tailored to meet the needs of each family. After getting to know the family and establishing some shared goals for therapy, the Play Therapist will then teach the parents/carers how to use therapeutic skills with their own children during training.
Following these training sessions, parents or carers are then supported to have one-on-one play sessions with their children supervised by the Play Therapist. Once parents or carers are ready, the Play Therapist will then support parents or carers to consider how to apply their newly acquired therapeutic skills into the home.
Filial Therapy supports parents and carers to become the therapeutic agents for change for their children, allowing children to get the support they need from those closest to them.
Please note that at least one parent or carer is required to attend all sessions during the Filial Therapy process whilst children will only attend some.