What is Theraplay®?

Play Therapy for Children

Theraplay® is a short-term, structured play therapy approach that focuses on the parent-child relationship. Through interactive and engaging activities, Theraplay® aims to build and strengthen the emotional bonds between parents and their children. The process involves fun and nurturing activities designed to promote trust, cooperation, and joyful connection within the family. Theraplay® sessions provide practical strategies and exercises for both parents and children, fostering positive interactions and lasting improvements in the overall family dynamic.

Theraplay | Nurture your family with fun. Play therapy for children.

Theraplay® is a dyadic child and family therapy that has been recognized by the Association of Play Therapy as one of seven seminal psychotherapies for children. Developed over 50 years ago, and practiced around the world, Theraplay® was developed for any professional working to support healthy child/caregiver attachment. Strong attachment between the child and the important adults in their life has long been believed to be the basis of lifelong good mental health as well as the mainstay of resilience in the face of adversity. Modern brain research and the field of neuroscience have shown that attachment is the way in which children come to understand, trust and thrive in their world.

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Theraplay® is endorsed by:

“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!”Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.
“Theraplay is a terrific treatment for disorganized and traumatized kids. I highly recommend your taking the training!”Bessel van der Kolk, M.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.”Stephen Porges, 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.”Eliana Gil, 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.”Dan Hughes, Ph.D.
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