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Family Play Intervention

Family Play therapy provides caregivers (parents) with training.

  • 45 min
  • Scotts Road


HOW DOES FILIAL THERAPY WORK? Filial therapy involves several stages. A therapist will generally first conduct an assessment of the family and will likely take some time to observe family interactions. Then, the therapist will demonstrate a play therapy session and train parents in basic techniques over the course of a few sessions. After that, the therapist provides direct supervision as parents conduct sessions with their children. The parent-led sessions typically begin in the clinical setting but eventually transition to the home. For the duration of the therapy, the therapist provides ongoing support and addresses any challenges families may encounter, thus preparing families for the completion of the therapy. This type of therapy does not focus on either parent or child as the person seeking treatment. Instead, the relationship between parent and child is the focus of the therapy. Filial therapy is most often conducted in a group setting so parents can receive emotional support in addition to didactic training. In a group setting, parents also have the ability to experience a variety of parenting styles. Filial therapy has also been adapted for use with couples and individual parents and can be used to train teachers, mentors, and other caregivers. The techniques in filial therapy are non-directive and child-centered, meaning children are free to play as they wish, without a lot of instruction or direction from the parents. Four basic techniques are taught in filial therapy: Structuring: Parents structure the play session by creating a specific play area and telling the child any of the toys provided in the space can be played with, in any way the child desires (with a few safety-based restrictions). Empathic listening: Parents can develop skills to reflect a child’s behavior and emotions during play and use these skills to provide reflective commentary on what the child is doing and what the child may be feeling or experiencing. Child-centered imaginary play: The parent simply watches and follows as the child engages in imaginary play. Limit setting: Although rules are kept to a minimum, parents provide limits to ensure safety and respect for property. Some aggression is permitted, but parents intervene if the child attempts to destroy toys or engage in dangerous behavior. The goal of therapy is for the child to feel more accepted and to be able to express feelings in safe and appropriate ways.

Contact Details

  • 1 Scotts Road, Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208, Singapore

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