An explanation from Phyllis Booth:
“Theraplay® is a child and family therapy for building and enhancing attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. 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® practitioner 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 behaviour and communicate love, joy, and safety to the child. It helps the child feel secure, cared for, connected and worthy.
We call this “building relationships from the inside out”
Theraplay® UK, 2018
An explanation from Dan Hughes:
“DDP is based on and brings together attachment theory, what we understand about developmental trauma, the neurobiology of trauma, attachment and caregiving and child development.
DDP is family-based and involves the child with his or her parent/s. Central within DDP is PACE: Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy. Playfulness brings enjoyment to the relationship. Acceptance creates psychological safety. When we curiously explore within a relationship we express a desire to know the other more deeply. Empathy communicates our curiosity and acceptance, as we recognize and respond to the other’s emotional experience.
PACE is a way of thinking which deepens the emotional connections in our relationship with others.”
DDP Network, 2018
NVR is a helpful intervention for families who are experiencing child-to-parent/child-to-child violence, aggressive or controlling behaviours. The approach recognises these behaviours in the context of developmental trauma. Understandably, these behaviours can often leave parents feeling helpless, humiliated, scared and angry.
Using methods which originated in the nonviolent political struggles of people such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, the therapy supports parents to remain in control and de-escalate conflict. Parents learn how to increase their parental presence and how to reconcile with their child/ren using specific and structured methods. The approach acknowledges the challenges of parenting violent or controlling children and encourages parents to grow a community of support around them and prioritise self-care. From a position of strength, parents can begin showing their care for their child and can focus on strengthening their relationship.
“Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of expression and communication. Within this context, art is not used as diagnostic tool but as a medium to address emotional issues which may be confusing and distressing.”
The British Association of Art Therapists, 2018
Play is vital to every child’s social, emotional, cognitive, physical, creative and language development. Play Therapy can help children understand muddled feelings and upsetting events. Rather than having to explain what is troubling them, as adult therapy usually expects, children use play to communicate at their own level and at their own pace, without feeling interrogated or threatened. The child has control over the toys and the play but has to manage the limits and boundaries that the therapist sets around the session. It is therefore good for children who struggle with control issues as they get to practice this repeatedly.
Play Therapy aims to give children emotional support and to give them an opportunity to understand more about their own feelings and thoughts. Sometimes they may re-enact or play out traumatic or difficult life experiences in order to make sense of their past and cope better with their future. Children may also learn to manage relationships and conflicts in more appropriate ways. The outcomes of Play Therapy may be general e.g. a reduction in anxiety and raised self-esteem, or more specific such as a change in behaviour and improved relations with family and friends.
Filial play therapy uses play to help children and young adolescents in their emotional development. It is also designed to grow or support the attachment between parent and child. To encourage this, the parent is the key ‘therapist’ working with the child, first with the therapist and later by holding ‘special play times’ themselves at home. The play therapist teaches the parents basic non-directive play therapy skills and helps the parent to develop these in their play with the child. They later hold parent only’ supervision’ sessions to draw out the themes of the child’s play and help understand how they are working through their issues.