Theraplay is a child and family therapy for enhancing and building attachment, self-esteem, trust in others and engagement. It encourages natural patterns of playful, healthy interactions between the parent/caregiver and the child, this promotes a self-belief in the child that they are worthy and lovable and relationships can be positive and rewarding.
The therapist guides the parent and child through playful interactive games focussing on qualities found in parent-child relationships such as structure, engagement, nurture and challenge.
The engaging games and activities help the parent communicate to the child that they are secure, cared for and worthy. This engagement helps the adult to regulate the child’s behaviour.
Theraplay can be particularly helpful in nurturing and/or repairing attachment relationships, for example, where a child is fostered or adopted or where the child did not form a secure attachment for various reasons, including illness, hospitalization or post-natal depression. Theraplay can also benefit children and families who have suffered trauma and stress in their lives.