Theraplay is an approach to child and family therapy that aims to address behavioral, emotional, or developmental issues and improve the parent-child relationship through play and healthy interaction.
We start with an assessment which provides us with lots of informations and helps us to determine which dimensions to focus on.
Included in each session are four fundamental dimensions that, according to Theraplay theory, form the basis of a healthy parent-child relationship. These dimensions take the form of specific behaviors, activities, and words.
Structure: The parent or guardian takes the lead in the session and defines all rules and boundaries in order to promote feelings of safety and a sense of organization and foster the development of self-regulation in the child. This dimension is often effective for children who display high impulsivity and a lack of focus and for parents who have difficulty setting rules or taking the lead.
Engagement: The parent/guardian focuses on the child in a personal manner so the child knows they are seen and heard in the moment. This dimension promotes joyful, responsive companionship and helps parent and child form a deeper emotional connection. Engagement is often effective for children who are socially withdrawn and parents who tend to be inattentive to or disengaged.
Nurture: Parent and child take part in soothing, calming activities that are believed to foster feelings of warmth, safety, and comfort. Soothing touch is a fundamental part of this dimension, and nurture can help a child develop inner knowledge of being special, lovable, and valued. This is most often appropriate for children who are anxious, overactive, or aggressive and parents who are harsh, dismissive, or who have difficulty displaying feelings of affection.
Challenge: The child is helped to complete a fun but challenging task or take a mild, age-appropriate risk in order to promote feelings of self-confidence and competence. Activities are performed in an environment that is positive, fun, optimistic, and non-competitive. Children who are shy or rigid and parents who are competitive or who have inappropriate developmental expectations may obtain benefit from this dimension.
Theraplay can be claimed under NDIS (self and plan managed only) and DCP.