What is Filial Therapy?


Filial therapy is a form of play therapy used to help children whose mental and emotional development may be impaired for reasons such as attachment issues. It also aims to improve parent/child relationships.  We are offering a research-based model of filial therapy called Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT).

 

Why should I use it?

Our filial therapist has been working with children for over 13 years. She has seen filial therapy work with even the most complex clients including adopted children and those in long-term foster care.  Filial therapy has a positive impact on the child’s behaviour and emotional wellbeing, yet it’s greatest impact is in making ongoing difficulties easier to understand and tolerate by increasing parents’ empathy and resilience and strengthening the child and parent attachment relationship.

Once learned, filial therapy skills can be used forever by parents with all children in the family.

CPRT is one of the best-researched treatment protocols in the field of child psychotherapy. An interesting study was done in 2010 on the efficacy of CPRT with 61 adoptive families.  The findings were very positive.

Adoptive parents reported decreases in child behaviour problems and parent child-relationship stress and increases in parent empathy. [1] [1] Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) with adoptive families: Effects on child behavior, parent-child relationship stress, and parental empathy by Carnes-Holt, Kara, Ph.D., UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS, 2010, 103 pages; 3417739

Is it right for my family?

We offer a 12- week model of one-hour sessions structured to include one week of training for parents, followed by a ‘practical’ session with parent, child and therapist.  The therapist models therapeutic play with the child for first half of this session, then observes while the parent plays with the child for the second half.  The benefits are that families get individual attention and the training and therapy can be tailored to the child/family’s specific needs.  It can also be done with just one parent in a family or with parents alternating for the ‘practical’ sessions, so it is easier to organise childcare.

Parents need to compile toy kits for use at home but this is not usually difficult or expensive. Parents may also wish to buy, A Parents Handbook of Filial Therapy by Risé van Fleet, £23.00 for their own use at home.

[1] Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) with adoptive families: Effects on child behavior, parent-child relationship stress, and parental empathy by Carnes-Holt, Kara, Ph.D., UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS, 2010, 103 pages; 3417739