What is Theraplay®?
Theraplay® is a specific type of play therapy for the child and family, focused on building and enhancing attachment and relationships. Theraplay® builds self esteem, trust in others, and pleasurable engagement amongst family members.
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.
In treatment, the Theraplay® therapist guides the parent and child through playful, fun games, developmentally challenging activities, and tender, nurturing activities. The very act of engaging each other in this way helps the parent regulate the child’s behavior and communicate love, joy, and safety to the child. It helps the child feel secure, cared for, connected and worthy.
I am trained in Level One & Level Two Theraplay®, and will often use Theraplay® activities as an adjunct or main approach in my practice, depending on the presenting concerns and needs of the family and child.