Filial Play Coaching / Mentoring is a new method for improving relationships between parents/carers and children.

It is suitable for parents / carers of children aged 18 months to 15 years with mild emotional or behavioural problems.

Filial coaching is an method which involves parents as an agent of change to improve their child’s emotional state and behaviour through non-directive play. The role of filial coaching is fundamentally preventative. It is used in the early stages of emotional, behavioural and relational problems rather than at a crisis stage.

It will help you build a relationship through play which positively influences the fundamental cause of problems. If your child has had play therapy it will complement the work of the Play Therapist. The parent/carer keeps a log of their sessions and is offered support and guidance by the filial coach.

The child takes the lead and the parent offers acceptance rather than correction. The child is only corrected when boundaries are broken.

Each referral will be different but will be roughly 12 weekly sessions of 60 minutes. Some of the sessions will require the child attending, as the therapist will observe a 20 minute play session with the parent and child. They will not be expected to work with their children until the filial coach is satisfied with their progress.

What will the training involve?

  1. Either individually or working in a group of other parents with training from a qualified filial coach.
  2. Follow up telephone coaching and support is available during (and for a short time after) the course.
  3. Talking through feelings about your child, yourself and other family members (but this is not group therapy).
  4. Focusing on the future – what the child is capable of being, not what (s)he has done in the past.
  5. Experientially based – learning by doing.
  6. Practising new skills to change behaviour.

What does the parent/carer need?

No special equipment is needed, although it is helpful f the parents/carer can set aside a box of art materials and toys for use specifically during the play sessions.

Aims of the training

To help build a relationship which positively impacts on the underlying causes of problems. This might include:

  1. Changing perceptions of the parent/carer-child relationship. Behaviour change can flow from new perceptions
  2. Increasing listening skills
  3. Learning to look through the child’s eyes
  4. Improving parental confidence to respond
  5. Improving your self perception
  6. Better understanding of the relationship with your child
  7. Allowing the child to develop inner control
  8. Introducing a special set of play materials to en-courage expression of the child’s feelings, needs and experiences
  9. Enhancing emotional literacy.
  10. These skills can then be shared with other family members to help deal with the frustrations of family life.

For more information please contact me here.