Theraplay is a form of structured play therapy designed to strengthen the attachment between parents and their child. Dr. Evangeline Munns, a Theraplay therapist and trainer, introduces this treatment method in its traditional format of individual child and parent sessions. Its simple, action-oriented, and visual activities are presented in an atmosphere of playfulness and fun, designed to easily engage both parent and child. The adaptability of this approach has led to its innovative application in working with various populations (failure to-thrive infants, sexually abused children), within various formats (siblings, families, multi-families, groups), and in various settings (private practice, mental health centers, schools). Emphasizing enhanced self-esteem, trust, and confidence, Theraplay techniques are clearly and creatively presented with rich clinical detail in this volume.
Applications of Family and Group Theraplay is rich in content and practical ideas guided by current research in attachment and neurobiological research. Most chapters are illustrated with a case study, including agendas from beginning, middle, and end sessions with an extensive appendix describing each activity, to help translate theory into practice. Theraplay, a research based therapeutic model that has gained increasing attention worldwide, is described in this book from its theory (based on attachment theory), research, to its underlying dimensions (structure, challenge, engagement, nurture) applied to a wide diversity of populations and formats. The book describes activities that have underlying goals of increasing parental attunement, creating a caring, accepting environment and co-regulating the child. It replicates normal parent/child interactions that are playful, physical, and fun. Applying Theraplay to a wide variety of populations (dysregulated, resistant, aggressive, impulsive, adopted, autistic, traumatized) and cultures (Aboriginals, American, Asian, German, Finnish) is included, as well as integrating Theraplay with other treatment methods. It also describes group Theraplay with father/son dyads and with troubled adolescents and offenders. This book will not only lead to a greater understanding of Theraplay, but will also stretch the reader's skills in the application of this very effective play therapy model.