Filial Therapy


I don’t address many things like this on my blog, when it comes to my children, but I feel the need to ‘vent’ about this.

My son is acting out aggressively. He is almost four and he is kicking and hitting and punching at daycare and his sister. I recognize that sometimes these things happen at this age and we need to deal with it immediately. We love our children. We take them places, we spend money on them, we do things together as a family…but sometimes kids just have emotional things that they need to work out and he hasn’t figured out how to work this one out. I don’t claim to be a perfect parent – but I know when it is time to reach out for help. We are going to attempt some filial therapy where they do some family “play therapy”, suggested to me by my human behavior professor… she is sending us a referral today and thinks that some short sessions 15-20 of them should alleviate this behavior and teach us how to better handle his ‘outbursts’. My son can be the sweetest on the planet, one second giving me kisses and telling me how “he’s my best friend”…. and “Am I your baby boy? I love you!” …then when he does not get his way, he flips out and screams like a banshee and like a switch is another little boy.

I am really glad to be building resources within the social work community to reach out when I need it, because lord knows too many people I know refuse help when it is looking them in the face… As a future therapist, I’m not like that. I recognize that I am not perfect and that I lead a VERY busy life pursuing my masters and raising kids and being a wife and having a social life with friends I love and care about – that sometimes needs of one group get missed, unintentionally.

As defined by Playtherapy/UK:

“Filial play and filial therapy are relatively recent applications that use play to help infants under the age of 3 as well as children up to the age of 14, in their mental and emotional development which for some reason, such as attachment issues, may be impaired. It is also designed to improve parent/child relationships.

Filial therapy also directly involves parent(s) and carer(s). One method is to provide parents/carers with basic play therapy skills to use at home.”

I am excited for the opportunity to not only learn and observe this therapy technique for my own future clients, but to learn it completely myself and apply it in my home for a stronger relationship with my kiddos. I haven’t come this far, to give them what is best, to turn back now.

I will update as we go through the process and hopefully we will see some results – and fast.

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