Filial Therapy

In addition to play therapy I provide Filial therapy sessions. Filial therapy supports parents/carers to facilitate a type of play that is beneficial to their child/children. This type of play improves coping skills, communication and strengthens parent-child relationships.

Filial Therapy was developed in the 1960’s by Bernard and Louise Gurney. There is over 50yrs of clinical and research experience in Filial therapy. It demonstrates that it is therapeutic for children with emotional, social and behavioural difficulties and furthermore it is a preventative intervention that strengthens parent/child relationship.

The Filial Therapy process begins with an initial assessment of the family. Then there will be 2/4weeks of the therapist training the parents in basic Filial skills. The next stage is where the parents will start weekly 30 minute play sessions with their child. After each of these session the therapist will provide feedback to the parent – this feedback is essential. It provides a space to reflect on the child’s play and the parent’s experience – looking at what the parent did well and one skill to work on for the following week. The final stage displays the parents growing in their confidence whilst conducting these play sessions. At this point the therapist feedback sessions are less frequent – fortnightly, then monthly, then a final check in after three months. Filial sessions continue at home for as long as the child wants to or as long as required.


The Purpose Of Filial Therapy Is:

  • Children can express their feelings of hurt or fears or anger through play. It helps children become more aware of their feelings and how to communicate and regulate them.
  • Helps build children’s confidence in themselves and the decisions they make
  • Increases parents understanding of child’s development, attitudes and feelings
  • Enhances parent-child relationship.