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Filial Family Therapy


Program Description

Filial Family Therapy is a parent–child play therapy for children aged 2–12, and their parents, in which trained mental health professionals teach parents skills for fostering relationships with their children and supervise parent–child play therapy sessions. The central goals of the therapy are to reduce emotional distress and problem behaviors in children, improve competence and self-esteem in children, strengthen the parent–child relationship, and improve parenting skills.

The therapy model was first developed in the 1960s, by Bernard Guerney, Jr., and Louise Guerney, as an adaptation of Child-Centered Play Therapy. With the addition of a parent skills-training component, Filial Family Therapy teaches parents to conduct therapeutically oriented play sessions with their children and provides them with continued therapist supervision for reinforcing positive parenting behaviors.

The therapy sessions are typically delivered weekly for 10 consecutive weeks. The 2-hour sessions include both parent skills training and parent–child play. The therapy takes place in small group or individual family sessions, in which parents are taught play therapy principles to use with their children. The parenting skills are practiced and reinforced with role playing, reviewing recorded play sessions, and other methods of instruction. Parents then employ the newly acquired skills during weekly parent–child play sessions, which are supervised by therapists who provide coaching and reinforcement during play time.

Program Snapshot
Evidence Ratings
Family-child Relationship
Unspecified and Other Mental Health Disorders and Symptoms
Personal Resilience/Self-concept
Parenting Behaviors
Social Functioning/Competence
Phobia, Panic, and Generalized Anxiety Disorders and Symptoms
Unspecified Serious Mental Illness or Emotional Disturbance
Disruptive Behavior Disorders and Externalizing/Antisocial Behaviors
Program Contact
Robert Scuka, Ph.D.
Executive Director

4400 East-West Hwy, Ste 24

Bethesda, MD 20814


301-680-8977
robscuka@earthlink.net


Dissemination/Implementation Contact
NIRE

 4400 Eat-West Hwy, Ste 24

Bethesda, MD 20814


301-680-8977

http://www.nire.org/

Program Type
Mental health promotion
Mental health treatment

Gender
Male
Female

Age
0-5 (Early childhood)
6-12 (Childhood)


Geographic Locations
Urban
Suburban
Rural and/or frontier
Tribal
Non-U.S.


Settings
Hospital / Medical Center
Residential Facility
Outpatient Facility
Home
University
Mental Health Treatment Center

Race/Ethnicity
American Indian or Alaska Native
Asian or Pacific Islander
Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino
White
Other

Implementation/Dissemination
Implementation materials available