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Family Therapy

Every family is unique. Therapeutic approaches are carefully selected based on the unique needs your family brings in. As developmentally informed clinicians, we tailor the family treatment model to the youngest person in the room. 

Theraplay® Informed Practice

Theraplay​® engages the parent(s) and child through playful, fun games, developmentally challenging activities and tender, nurturing activities. Engaging in this way allows the parent to regulate the child's behaviour and communicate love, joy, and safety to the child. It helps the child feel loved, cared for, connected and worthy.

Filial Therapy

Filial Therapy harnesses the power of play therapy and involves parents as active partners in the process. Relationships are strengthened as children are understood through their play with parents using therapeutic play skills as trained by the play therapist.

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)

DDP interweaves attachment theory, intersubjectivity and the impact of developmental trauma to support the relationship between parents and children. This family modality develops healthy relationship patterns and communication between parents and children.

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AutPlay® Therapy

AutPlay Therapy is a neurodiversity affirming play therapy approaches that actively involves the parents as partners in the process. AutPlay is designed to address the mental health needs of neurodivergent children ages 3-18. 

SMART Therapy

SMART stands for Sensory Motor Arousal Regulation Treatment, an innovative mental health therapy for children and adolescents to help them with emotional, behavioural and interpersonal regulation. 

Family Play Therapy

Play therapists are endlessly creative about ways to incorporate play into meeting the unique needs of the families we serve. Families who play together stay together!

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Theraplay®-informed practice

"Theraplay® uses practitioner guidance to create playful and caring child-adult interactions that foster joyful shared experiences. These activities build attunement and understanding of each other – replicating early relationship experiences that are proven to lead to secure attachment. The interactions are personal, physical and fun – a natural way for everyone to experience the healing power of being together." 

- Theraplay Institute 

Who can benefit from Theraplay®?

Theraplay® is an effective treatment for children with a wide range of social difficulties, emotional challenges, and developmental and behavioural problems. It has been used successfully with birth families, foster families and adoptive families to help with:

  • Acting-out, angry or disruptive behaviour

  • Defiant or controlling behaviour

  • Shy, withdrawn or clingy behaviour

  • Attachment issues due to adoption or multiple family placements

  • A history of trauma or neglect

  • Developmental disorders 

  • ADHD

  • Behavioural problems at school or with peers

More importantly, if you feel stuck in a negative dynamic with your child, feel helpless to deal with your child’s challenges, or despairing of ever having a normal, healthy relationship with your child – you can benefit from Theraplay® .

Core Concepts

Theraplay® interactions focus on four essential qualities found in healthy parent-child relationships

  • Structure: The adult, the leader in the relationship, creates organization and predictability for the child which communicates safety

  • Nurture: The adult provides caring that can calm and soothe the child in a manner that makes them feel good physically and emotionally

  • Engagement: The adult is present in a manner that the child experiences being seen, heard, felt, and accepted

  • Challenge: The adult supports the child in the acquisition and mastery of new skills, enhancing the child’s sense of competence and confidence

 

With the support of the clinician, parents learn to play with their child in a way that establishes felt safety, increases social engagement, expands arousal regulation, and supports the development of positive self-esteem for both the child and the parent. 

Information taken from Theraplay Institute.

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