It is the belief of Theraplay that joyful interactions between caregiver and child fosters attunement that improves the quality of the dyad and secure attachment style. Grounded in research, Theraplay is an evidenced-based approach to work with children and families of all walks of life. These different dynamics may include biological families, blended families, children in foster care, separately with each parent, or extended family members who may have custody. Theraplay is designed for children 12 and under but can be modified for older children as well to help heal earlier childhood hurts.
Theraplay can be beneficial for children and families who struggle with:
- Emotional regulation
- Grief and loss
- Foster care/Adoption
What does it look like?
Caregivers will complete an intake to better understand your child and family’s goals and needs. The parent/child dyad will complete a video taped assessment (called a MIM) to assess further for strengths and needs in the relationship. Provider will review these findings with the parent(s) and collaborate to develop a plan to meet the previously identified goals and needs. Provider will complete a demonstrative session with parent(s) to learn the activities that will be used in sessions. Following this the Provider will meet with the dyad together for four sessions and then meet back individually with the parent for a parent feedback session and resume this pattern until the goals and discharge plan has been met. (Average treatment time is 26 sessions or about 6 months)
Core Components from the Theraplay Institute:
“Structure: The adult, the leader in the relationship, creates organization and predictability for the child which communicates safety
Nurture: The adult provides caring that can calm and soothe the child in a manner that makes them feel good physically and emotionally
Engagement: The adult is present in a manner that the child experiences being seen, heard, felt, and accepted
Challenge: The adult supports the child in the acquisition and mastery of new skills, enhancing the child’s sense of competence and confidence”.