Theraplay® is a therapy that focuses on improving the child's behavioural and emotional challenges through the parent-child relationship
In a Theraplay® session, the therapist guides the parent and child through playful games, challenging activities and nurturing interactions. Theraplay® helps the child experience previously difficult interactions in new ways, helps overcome fear and increase trust and creates a positive change in the child's sense of self.
Theraplay® helps the parent be attuned to the child, understand the motives of the child's behaviour and the underlying needs, manage environmental stimuli and carefully challenge the child in a safe place.
While other therapies may work primarily with the child alone or work with parents on managing the child's behaviours, Theraplay® focuses on the parent-child relationship as the most powerful and influential element for change.
Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.
“Play is a crucial way in which children can open their minds, strengthen their brains, and create spontaneous connections with others without judgement or fear. Theraplay is a time-tested approach that supports children's healthy development of resilience and well-being. Bravo for decades of nurturing children's lives!"
Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.
"Theraplay is a terrific treatment for disorganized and traumatized kids. I highly recommend your taking the training!"
Stephen Porges, Ph.D.
"Theraplay is an efficient mode of therapy. Theraplay seamlessly incorporates within a play environment several elements that are shared with models of psychotherapy. From a Polyvagal perspective Theraplay respects the biobehavior state of the child, applies therapist initiated social engagement strategies to trigger a state of safety in the child, and promotes synchronous reciprocal interactions as a neural exercise that increases social flexibility and improves emotion regulation."
Eliana Gil, Ph.D.
"I cannot say enough about Theraplay. You have to experience it. You have to watch what happens to your clients when applied carefully and purposefully.
As an integrated clinician, I am eternally grateful for this wonderful technique, deceptively simple, amazingly accessible, and tested over decades with thousands of parent-child dyads. Its application is without bounds, and my purpose here is to encourage clinicians to think about Theraplay as a therapy of choice for trauma and its subsequent clinical issues."
Dan Hughes, Ph.D.
"I highly recommend Theraplay. Based on principles of attachment, Theraplay enables parents and their children—of all ages-- to again experience reciprocal joy and interests, cooperation and delight. This provides them with safety and a sense of closeness which creates a context where ongoing conflicts and worrisome behaviours are likely to decrease."