Packages of Support

In summary for parents/carers...

A crucial aspect of the Theraplay®  and Sensory Attachment Practice is supporting you in your role. A focus is being able to gain more insight into the underlying reasons for your child's behaviour, based upon scientific reserach about the developing brain, attachment and sensory integration. You will be able to learn about why your child's unique background requires a different parenting style than you might have expected; therapeutic parenting.

In all cases, there is sensitivity to your family's needs. It is a strengths based approach aimed at focusing on what is already working well in your family, whilst giving support to approach parenting more challenging behaviour in a different way. An understanding of neurodiversity, the impact of trauma, and masking is crucial in my work in supporting families to negotiate advocating for their child's SEN, learning, emotional and mental health needs. 


Family at Home Package.

Initially there is a 1 hour meeting with the adults in the family to discuss the referral and assess needs. 

We arrange a convenient time to complete an observation in the family home or an agreed venue. This includes nine activities reflecting the dimensions of Nurture, Engagement, Structure and Challenge and takes approximately 1.5 hours. It is recorded using a video camera (for analysis purposes or supervision). The DVD footage is analysed and a report is written to summarise the observations.

A meeting then takes place to give feedback to parents/carers. We talk about what is working well in the family already, and the areas we can use Theraplay® to help issues that are arising. It usually lasts around 1.5 hours. Activities are demostrated to allow the adults to feel more informed about what will happen in the sessions.

A plan of a minimum of 12 sessions of Theraplay® are planned with the family at a mutually convenient time. At the end of the  sessions a Review meeting takes place to consider progress or if the work may continue further. If the work has given the family a foundaton of skills to use, this may be a final feedback meeting lasting around 1.5-2 hours. A Final feedback report will also be written to summarise the work completed and recommendations. If at this Review point further work is felt to be needed this can be discussed and planned if funding is agreed.

Sensory Attachment and Just Right State Programme

All of my Theraplay work is fully informed by Sensory Attachment Intervention. Please see the Just Right State Flyer for more information about this programme. If families would like to focus on understanding their own and their children's sensory needs and learning what may support the family to regulate and manage triggers and environments that present challenges for them. The Just Right State Programme can be delivered with an individual family as well as in a group. 

School and Home Package.

In addition to the package of support above, it is possible to include the child's school or nursery in the sessions. A package of sessions can be offered involving a key member of staff for the child. These sessions can be discussed and planned depending on the needs of the child and school. Attendance at school meetings or TAC meetings can also be discussed. 

In addition, if the school would like a workshop to establish an understanding of the Theraplay® Principles this can be discussed and costed as part of the package depending on need.


Virtual or in person Theraplay Groups

What is a Theraplay Informed Practice Group Programme?

Group Theraplay Informed Practice is a group adaptation of the Dyadic model based on working with one carer and child. The groups can be used for groups of children in schools or community settings, or groups of parents and their children together.

Unlike other playgroup approaches, in a Theraplay informed play group, learning takes place on a non verbal level. Instead of talking about positive social behaviour, the group leader, parents and children interact socially and positively to model this in the group. Gradually positive messages from the groups become part of the child's internal sense of himself. When the child's needs for structure, engagement, nurture and challenge are attended to, the children and parents begin to internalize the experience and extend it towards others spontaneously.

The Theraplay Informed Practice group is an adult-directed, structured play group which incorporates playful, cooperative and nurturing activities that enhance emotional wellbeing. The Theraplay informed practice group fosters a child's self esteem, the sense of belonging, the ability to care for himself and others and the ability to develop increased trust. Leaders create an atmosphere of fun, caring, acceptance and encouragement which allows children to grow socially, emotionally and often intellectually.

Rather than using external controls, a Theraplay Informed group promotes internal self control and the desire to relate to others appropriately. Because a group is playful and upbeat, it appeals to children and takes into account their individual needs. 

Theraplay Informed Practice groups, while considered a therapeutic intervention, can benefit all children and their families, not just those that need extra help. Today's children face increasing pressure to achieve and perform from an earlier age, and often with less consistent family support than was common in the past. These children can benefit from being appreciated not for what they accomplish, but just for who they are. 

Aims, objectives and goals for parents and children in the Theraplay Informed Practice Group;

For parents

  • Increased attunement with your child
  • Increased comfort with nurturing care
  • Increased ability to play with your child
  • Increased ability to give your child a sense of safety and security with inherent boundaries
  • Increased comfort when holding, touching and coregulating your child's emotional state
  • Increased comfort with eye contact
  • Increased ability to engage your child
  • Empowering you to meet your child's needs in an attuned way.


For children

  • Increased trust in parent
  • Increased comfort with closeness and intimacy
  • Increased comfort with eye contact
  • Accepting nurture more readily from parent
  • Accepting boundaries and structure with less resistance
  • Having fun and enjoying their time with their parent
  • Ability to regress back to being 'reparented' as a baby in the care of their parent
  • To be touched in healthy ways by their parent
  • To feel safe with their parent

How will the Theraplay Informed Practice Group run?

The programme will start with an initial Information Workshop for parents/carers looking at Theraplay as a model, the content of the Programme and the ability to get to know other group members who will be attending sessions together.

Eight Group Theraplay informed sessions will then take place with the parent and child. Two Theraplay Informed Practitioners will support the families through the weeks. Feedback will be given using a Theraplay Informed Practice assessment tool. At the end of the eight sessions, a final feedback session with parents only takes place. The practitioners will present report to each parent looking at the positive outcomes for the families, any further recommendations of support needed, and gain feedback from  the parents about the course.

Six to eight sessions can take place for children in schools with the support of identified members of staff to faciliatate the group, either in person or lead by a Theraplay Informed practitioner online. An initial Information workshop would take place for staff with a final review and evaluation meeting at the end of the course. 

Please make contact to discuss. 

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Theraplay® South West. Theraplay® Informed Practice. Theraplay® is a registered trade mark of The Theraplay Institute, Evanston, IL, USA