The course is designed to be interactive and experiential in nature. You will have two facilitators, who are trained and registered play therapists. Using a combination of instruction and demonstration of therapeutic skills, role-playing, group discussion, required at-home play sessions, video recordings and supervision, they will create a supportive atmosphere to educate parents.
Week 1: An overview of Filial Therapy principles, philosophy and skill development. How the therapeutic play method can overcome a range of parent child challenges where parents learn how to create a warm, nonjudgmental, unconditionally accepting, genuine environment in which their child feels safe to explore their perceptions of their perceived challenges and struggles.
Week 2: We will look at what toys to use and why, and how and when to set up special play time sessions at home. Parents begin learning the first two key therapeutic skills of structuring and keeping child in the lead and why it is essential in establishing safety and trust for healing and growth to occur.
Week 3: We will cover the next set of core skills that focus on increasing the parent’s sensitivity to their child and for the child to overcome their perceived struggles through attunement, tracking and reflecting feelings in different types of developmental play.
Week 4: Whilst special play time is primarily non-directive, there is still a level of structure and direction provided. Parents will learn how to set positive therapeutic limits in a consistent and empathic way to help preserve their child’s self esteem. The role of co-regulation will also be explored as an important component of limit setting and working through a child’s defensiveness or dysregulation.
Week 5: We will break from group teaching and have each parent book an individual consultation with one of the course’s facilitators following the commencement of their weekly special play time home sessions. We will use this time to watch recording of the parents special playtime session and provide feedback.
Week 6: As the parents continue weekly play sessions at home, they will be supported to explore therapeutic techniques, the meaning of their child’s play, and their personal emotional reactions to the sessions. These areas will be explored to develop parents’ confidence with the new set of skills they have acquired.
Week 7: This will be the continuation of Week 6 with ongoing opportunities to facilitate personal exploration and skill development, and troubleshoot barriers to the special play time sessions
Week 8: We will cover how to apply these therapeutic skills and generalise them into daily life. Parents will reflect on their strengths and challenges and address barriers to the special play time process.