Play in Family Therapy

The Development of Filial and Family Therapy
The development of   filial and family therapy appears to be the most informative part that I learned through the workshop. This foundation has proven to be integral to me as a new learner and it helps me build a strong bedrock as a professional counselor to bring this particular therapy into my profession and in specific, my consultation sessions. Despite our culture which seems to shy away from the idea that playtime can be therapeutic, the field of play therapy is increasingly growing and even integrated with many other approaches to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development.
The filial and family therapy began around 1909, when Sigmund Freud successfully made subject a father of a five year old boy in the treatment of the child by instructing the father to respond during several play sessions with his son. This has become the starting point, where play therapy in infused with the actual parent-child relationships. As early as 1949, Dorothy Baruch advocated planned play sessions for the purpose of allowing children to work out their personal issues and enhancing the interactions within family members (Landreth & Bratton, 2006). Later on, the play therapy becomes a common intervention in home play-type sessions between parents and child. It was employed regularly by Natalie Fuchs, the daughter of Carl Rogers in 1957, to help her daughter overcome emotional reactions related to toilet training. The formal manual description about play therapy – the type of home play session between parent and child was written by Moustakas in 1959 (Gill, 1994). However, these earlier experiences of parent conducting special play sessions at home differed from the filial therapy in that parent did not receive scheduled systematic training on a regular basis.
The one thing that I had found strange in the workshop was the term ‘Filial therapy’. I found that this is a unique...