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Theraplay is a child and family therapy that has as its goal enhancing and building attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. The principles underlying Theraplay are that, in healthy relationships, there should be natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parent and child. The goal of Theraplay would be a changed view of the self as worthy and lovable and of relationships as positive and rewarding. It is one type of play therapy that can be used with children.
History of Theraplay
In 1967, Ann Jernberg, Ph.D., became the Director of Psychological Services for the new Chicago Head Start program. She brought in Phyllis Booth, MA as one of her assistants. She and her team were to identify children in need of psychological services and refer them to existing treatment centers. However, there were very few resources for children's mental health at the time, and the existing ones could not possibly handle the hundreds of children identified as needing help. Jernberg set out to create her own program that would treat children at the Head Start centers, rather than at outlying clinics, and could use paraprofessionals supervised by mental health professionals to do the actual work. The result was a model based upon healthy parent-infant interaction which borrowed elements from the work of Austin Des Lauriers and Viola Brody. From Des Laurier she took the idea of actively engaging the child in an intimate environment that focused on the here and now. From Brody, she adopted the nurturing relationship between child and therapist, including touch, rocking and singing. Ernestine Thomas, a talented early therapist, contributed the focus on being strongly affirmative and hopeful about the child's health, potential and strength.
The Jernberg team took the model and recruited people with a lively, playful ability to engage children. They trained and supervised them to go into the schools to work individually and intensively with the children who needed help. When they ran into resistance to this unorthodox method, they produced films to demonstrate its effectiveness. The Theraplay Institute was formed in 1971, and people familiar with the Head Start work began referring children for treatment. In 1976, Theraplay was registered as a service mark to protect the integrity of Theraplay treatment and training around the world. In 1979, Jernberg published Theraplay: A New Treatment Using Structured Play for Problem Children and Their Families.
In the 1980s the focus became increasingly on training others to use Theraplay. The Theraplay Institute reached out beyond the Chicago area to train mental health professionals in other areas of the United States and Canada. Today, there are chartered Theraplay Associations in Germany and Finland, and an official Alliance for Theraplay in South Korea. People from over 28 other countries have been trained in Theraplay. Theraplay therapists are working with Aids orphans in Botswana, victims of war and natural disasters all over the world, and many other humanitarian projects.
Phyllis Booth published the second edition of the Theraplay book in 1999, and in 2010 the third edition of Theraplay: Helping Parents and Children Build Better Relationships Through Attachment-Based Play. Theraplay has evolved since its Head Start roots to focus on the child-caregiver relationship, which has led to an increased emphasis on secure attachment and affect attunement (D.N. Stern, A.N. Schore, M. Ainsworth).
- The Theraplay Institute
- Booth, P. B, & Jernberg, A.M, (2010). Theraplay: Helping Parents and Children Build Better Relationships Through Attachment-Based Play. San Francisco: Wiley. ISBN 978-0-470-28166-6.
- Theraplay Institut research results
- Wettig, H., Franke, U., & Fjordbak, B. S. (2006). Evaluating the Effectiveness of Theraplay. Contemporary Play Therapy, ed. Schaefer & Kaduson, Guildford Press, New York.
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Tue, 24 Feb 2015 22:56:15 -0800
Baker is now a licensed therapist at Heartland Behavioral Health Services, where he participates in art therapy and "theraplay" for individuals and families, treating behavioral issues and disorders. "I wouldn't trade my job for the world," Baker says.
Mon, 02 Feb 2015 14:07:30 -0800
Over $40,000 in funds have been raised over the last four years helping fund projects including Norfolk's Pedal Park, a kid's bicycle safety course in Norfolk and TheraPlay, a specialized outpatient pediatric therapy area at Faith Regional ...
Leighton Buzzard Today
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Thu, 12 Feb 2015 05:07:30 -0800
As well as placing vulnerable children with permanent families, SFCS provides a wide range of support services including counselling, 'Theraplay', and family events, to adoptive children (who've often had a difficult or traumatic start to their lives ...
Norfolk Daily News
Fri, 04 Oct 2013 07:43:38 -0700
For instance, if a child has a sensory processing disorder, he or she can benefit from TheraPlay's sensory room. The sensory room has specialized equipment like a belly bumper, a hammock, a body sock and a “steam roller” to help desensitize or calm ...
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Parents of children with special needs in Sussex have raised concerns that a support service could be closed down. West Sussex County Council is reviewing its contribution to Theraplay, a service which provides physiotherapy and speech and language ...
Sat, 13 Sep 2014 04:36:58 -0700
They were stolen from a shed at the family's home in Welsford Avenue, Stapleton, between 11.30pm and midnight on Wednesday, September 10. The thieves forced the padlock on the shed to take the two Theraplay Tracker 25 trikes, one in red and one blue.
Mon, 10 Nov 2014 13:20:17 -0800
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Sanford Herald (registration)
Sanford Herald (registration)
Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:03:45 -0800
Morton, a speech-language pathologist at Theraplay, her private practice in Sanford, said We Rock the Spectrum is an inclusive sensory gym where children with special needs can interact with other children. The facility, at 139 Chatham St., specializes ...
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