Filial Therapy: Strengthening Parent-Child Relationships Through Play




by Rise VanFleet, 77 pages

This book presents a pioneering approach for treating child problems in a family therapy context. Filial therapy combines psychoeducational, empowerment, and play therapy methods that actively involve parents in their child's treatment. This comprehensive how-to-do-it guide provides applied filial therapy techniques for use with 3- to 12-year-old children who are experiencing a wide range of clinical problems. Filial therapy has been shown through 40 years of research and clinical use to be a highly effective therapeutic intervention that can also be used in prevention and family enhancement contexts. This book shows how to engage parents actively in the therapeutic process, train and supervise parents as they conduct special play sessions with their own children, handle common therapy problems, and apply filial therapy to a variety of social, emotional, behavioral, and developmental problems. This book is essential reading for child and family therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, pediatric and family physicians, mental health professionals, nurses, educators, school counselors, play therapists, and early childhood specialists and caregivers. Foreword by Louise Guerney, Ph.D. The second edition (2005) contains up-to-date research information, a variety of formats for conducting filial therapy, and a broad range of applications.

Comments/Reviews on Filial Therapy: Strengthening Parent-Child Relationships Through Play:

Louise Guerney, Ph.D. (from the Foreword, 1st ed.): "For decades, practitioners have been seeking ways to engage parents meaningfully when children are in therapy or in need of support, when a divorce has taken place, or when a blended family has formed. Filial Therapy provides that means... It is unique to be provided an excellent 'how to' tool for a method that is so current and yet has so positive a success history, from an author who is so expert and enthusiastic about its use... This monograph will serve as an invaluable guide to practitioners for their own application of the approach." (from the Foreword, 2nd ed.): “The revised edition is as informative and authoritative as the original but with additions that make this book the most comprehensive text on filial therapy currently available.”

Journal of Family Psychotherapy (1st ed.): "Filial Therapy presents a welcome, accessible, efficient approach to child work... The text provides guidelines for selection of children and families to this approach as well as contraindications for its use. Application with specific populations and alternative formats for Filial Therapy are discussed. I enjoyed reading Filial Therapy and I welcome its perspective on play as a systemic approach for strengthening parent-child relationships."

PsycCritiques, American Psychological Association (3rd ed.): “…In summary, this clearly written book provides an excellent overview of filial therapy and its many strengths and uses. It is concise and very practical. Its greatest strength is the outline of and specific suggestions for conducting filial therapy. Despite glossing over a few issues, it serves as an excellent primer in filial therapy that takes into account several concerns common to contemporary psychology.”

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