Reasons for Considering Filial Play Therapy

Reasons for Considering Filial Play Therapy

Order Description

• Reasons for Considering Filial Play Therapy
Resources
• Attributes and Evaluation of Discussion Contributions.
• Professional Communications and Writing Guide.
Reflect on the readings in this unit in relation to your knowledge and theoretical orientation. In particular, consider the evidence that supports the value of integrating caregivers into treatment. According to your text, for example, “CPRT has been demonstrated through rigorous scientific studies to be effective with a wide range of parents and problematic behaviors of children” (Landreth & Bratton, p. 28).
Advocates of particular approaches are sometimes criticized for applying those approaches too universally, like “hammers looking for nails.” In your initial post to the discussion area, aIDress the following questions:
• What do you see as the rationale for using parents as therapeutic agents?
• When do you think we should use filial therapy as an intervention for families?
• To what extent are you comfortable with FPT as an approach in situations involving:
o Developmental issues?
o Diversity issues, including cultural differences?
How does filial therapy seem to fit your theoretical orientation?
Reference
Landreth, G. L., & Bratton, S. C. (2006). Child parent relationship therapy (CPRT): A 10-session filial therapy model. New York, NY: Routledge.
• Reasons for Considering Filial Play Therapy
Resources
• Attributes and Evaluation of Discussion Contributions.
• Professional Communications and Writing Guide.
Reflect on the readings in this unit in relation to your knowledge and theoretical orientation. In particular, consider the evidence that supports the value of integrating caregivers into treatment. According to your text, for example, “CPRT has been demonstrated through rigorous scientific studies to be effective with a wide range of parents and problematic behaviors of children” (Landreth & Bratton, p. 28).
Advocates of particular approaches are sometimes criticized for applying those approaches too universally, like “hammers looking for nails.” In your initial post to the discussion area, aIDress the following questions:
• What do you see as the rationale for using parents as therapeutic agents?
• When do you think we should use filial therapy as an intervention for families?
• To what extent are you comfortable with FPT as an approach in situations involving:
o Developmental issues?
o Diversity issues, including cultural differences?
How does filial therapy seem to fit your theoretical orientation?
Reference
Landreth, G. L., & Bratton, S. C. (2006). Child parent relationship therapy (CPRT): A 10-session filial therapy model. New York, NY: Routledge.
• Studies
• Read the Learner Expectations for important information about your success in this course.
• Read the Professional Communications and Writing Guide. You are expected to adhere to these guidelines when writing a discussion post, peer response, or paper, as well as when using citations and references.
• Read the introduction to this unit.
Use your Landreth & Bratton text, Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT): A 10-Session Filial Therapy Model, to complete the following:
• Read Chapter 1, “History, Development, and Objectives of Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT): A 10-Session Filial Therapy Model,” pages 1–13. This chapter will give you an idea of where filial play therapy came from, as well as background on the ten-session model.
• Read Chapter 2, “Unique Features of CPRT,” pages 15–30. This chapter focuses on ways in which child parent relationship therapy may be different from other types of therapy.
Use the Capella University Library to complete the following:
• Read Guerney’s 2000 article, “Filial Therapy into the 21st Century,” from International Journal of Play Therapy, volume 9, issue 2, pages 1–17. This article, the lead-off article in the 2000 special edition of the International Journal of Play Therapy, provides Dr. Guerney’s view of the development and robustness of the model.
• Read Hazelrigg, Cooper, and Borduin’s 1987 May article, “Evaluating the effectiveness of family therapies: An integrative review and analysis,” from Psychological Bulletin, volume 101, issue 3, pages 428–442. This article provides a context for filial therapy as a family therapy and a model for evaluating its effectiveness.
An Interview with Louise Guerney
Launch Presentation | Transcript
Case Scenario Background: Meet the Families
Launch Presentation | Transcript
Media
• Click Launch Presentation to listen to An Interview with Louise Guerney. This is a recorded conversation with Dr. Louise Guerney, one of the originators of filial play therapy.
• Click Launch Presentation to review Case Scenario Background: Meet the Families. These families, clients who provide the details for your case scenario, are the same clients involved in your earlier courses. AIDitional information about each client’s family has been aIDed in this course, some of which is relevant to your assessment of the value of filial therapy for that client. Your instructor expects you to continue to use the same client in this course that you used in previous courses; however, if you prefer to work with a different client, please notify your instructor as early as possible.
An Introduction to Dr. Louise F. Guerney
Dr. Glazer:
I am delighted that we have the opportunity to speak with Dr. Louise F. Guerney.
Dr. Guerney and her husband Bernard Guerney developed Filial Therapy while serving as faculty at Rutgers University and Penn State University. She retired as Professor Emeritus of Human Development and Counseling Psychology at The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania.
An active member of both the Association for Play Therapy (APT) and the American Psychological Association (APA), Dr. Guerney was an early member of APT, joining in 1982. She served on both the editorial board of the International Journal for Play Therapy and on the association’s board of directors until 1999. She was named Director Emeritus by the APT Board in 2004. In recognition of her achievements both in the field and with the association, the members of APT presented Dr. Guerney with the Life Achievement Award in 2006.
Dr. Guerney is a sought-after presenter and, until recently, was a fixture at the APT convention speaking on Child-Centered Therapy and Filial Therapy. In the early part of this century, she often teamed with me to present at APT on Filial Therapy. You will have an opportunity to read some of Dr. Guerney’s published articles as we engage in the course. We are honored that she agreed to talk to us about Filial Therapy.
Origins of Filial Therapy
Dr. Glazer:
I remember the first time we talked and that was way back when I took my first class in Filial Therapy and you were on the phone and you started telling us about the history, and how you and Dr. Guerney started this. So I was hoping you could do that for us today.
Dr. Guerney:
Sure. I would say that the kickoff thing was my husband who worked at the Lafayette Clinic in Michigan, but anyway, he worked there. He was very impressed with how pathological everything seems, parent-child relationships, and the way mothers were kind of classified as having some big problems too if they had problems with their children. And he began to think two things; one that mothers were not, they did not listen to mothers, they did not have an orientation to get information from them, but rather imposed their point-of-view, and secondly that a lot of the things seem to be just inability to understand children, and their developmental ways and ways of communicating with them, ways of helping them comply and it does seem to him that a lot of these relationship problems were rather than being heavy pathology were arising from parents just to not really knowing how to deal with children and not having the skills to deal with children and thinking that they had to resort to all sorts of things that we would not find it acceptable today.
The parents were really not looked to for providing help, they looked to as clients who needed to help themselves and parents were occasionally asked to do something differently at home with the children, but their potential as people who can really help with the solution to problems if they were taught what to do was just not there, and at that time there was a move, a large move by very powerful psychologists, Heads of APA and so on who wanted to see psychology shared with people and not be just exclusive ownership of the high-level psychologists.
Bringing in parents as change agents, making use of the relationship they have with their children to help things along in the family life and the parent-child relationship and trying to make this a skills kind of thing rather than just throwing out information.
Had we not been so group-oriented, Filial probably would have put on a lot faster because even today there are a lot of people that really cannot run groups, small practices just do not get groups together. So we did not say it had to be a group, it is just that is the way the model was developed with groups. And certainly I still feel that groups are the very best way to work with parents if you can get them together. Anybody that is not part of a big clinic like the Philadelphia Guidance Center or something that just has trouble with getting groups together, but we now know since the years have gone by that working with parents individually it is just good results on pre-post tests and process, measures and all shows that it goes on as well, it is just not as efficient. And parents I think do not get the value of the support from groups and the sharing from groups and the normalization of children’s problems in groups, and any group you run they always say, oh! I felt my kid was the only one who did that, and it is like revelation, as a matter of fact this is always the case I guess when you get into support kinds of situations.
So I think that that was very important really to start at, it was kind of a pristine group, so that it was not muIDied with other things. If we had not worked, we would have known why, and the parents were seem to be pretty well together although they had their problems too. So that is one of the things that Filial is good for you. You do not have to be the super-perfect person to conduct play sessions because you are monitored all the way by professionals who will help you through empathy and some information and instruction and skills training for you as the parent to work with issues of your own that might affect the child.
Research in Filial Therapy
Dr. Glazer:
One of the amazing things was the amount of research that was done on Filial.
Dr. Guerney:
Oh, yes, yes, it was. We started doing a lot, then it was picked up by others who have gone far beyond what we did. But we all agreed that was a little group of us that worked on this; Bernie and I was at core and then there was a community psychologist and two other psychologists from Rutgers. And everybody agreed that we better have a lot of research done here because this is so far out that if we can document that this can work, it is going to be getting to get nowhere and not only, have no documentation of how it works, but also, how validate people’s criticism of it like, why was you doing that and so on? What we were suggesting is totally rubbish, really far out.
So very carefully from the beginning a research was done and it is being a psychological clinic at Rutgers University. I wish Bernie was the Director of — she had a lot of opportunity to build in research chances for PhDs and so on. But it was a very — in the first study, I always sight, because I think it was a very important one for giving us the courage to go on, and that was mothers were trained to play with their children in the — what was there in a Filial way, which is more or less the way it is. Now we have not changed fully at all, but have changed the skills training methods. We do much more skills training, then we did much more modeling and reinforcement, now all of that is in there.
So we had mothers who were trained and we had mothers who were not trained, and we had observers who did not know — they did not know whether parents were — mothers were trained or they were not trained, I did not know who they were watching and every 15 seconds they had to put — they have got a little noise in the earphones and said, put down something.
So they have to record something about the behavior we have to scale, it is now been made bigger and fancier and called the MITI which Sue Bratton uses and most Filial researchers use now, but at that time it was just empathy scale, but it had three other variables that they coded for.
One knows that Dave was pulled together, it was a very clear and that the parents who had been training in the Filial skills were much better in a way they interacted with their children than the ones who just went in there and played, and this answered an important question, which people brought up when they would go along with the idea in those days that maybe you are doing something worthwhile after all, they would say, but it is probably due to the fact that the parents are giving this tension to the children.
So we had to fight that issue, like it is time just the idea of giving one-on-one, time to a child what really counts. So that study threw that idea out of the window because when mothers who were — and they were randomly assigned incidentally to be trained or not trained.
When mothers just spent time with your children in an unskilled way, it cannot go well, some did of course, but a lot of the times they get to fight and rather would say, use that crayon or do not play with that. Just not follow the rules of playing because they did not know them. They did whatever they normally would do and it just would get upset and cry and have big fits because their mothers would stop them to things and so on.
So we found at the time alone it was not actually the thing that was working there, it was parents, mothers who knew the skills and could apply them and as a result of that the children got much better scores, their behavior was in turn much better because of the skill behavior on the part of their parents. So that kind of gave us hope, that was a first big study and we just hoped that we had something going there, and then it was not just time, the training really did amount to something and it could bring about positive changes in the parents and in the children.
So I had that been not worked unless we found some flaw in the design or the methodology, we would have had to stop because why — go ahead this at times this is what we need to do, just to help people play with your kids one-on-one.
We did a lot of process work too, but of course, the big question was, does it really work? So we have had good outcome results and we did, and then three years later I went back to that group of parents who had finished at that point; the ones who were trained and then they finished, and found that the children had not reverted back to — for the most part, a couple of them had deteriorated, one deteriorated badly, but the rest of the 41 children I do believe I think that is the right number, were all continued to maintain the games they made from Filial, but that was very encouraging too.
Future of Filial Therapy
Dr. Glazer
I mean it seems to me that the potential is endless.
Dr. Guerney:
You are right, I mean certainly in schools, there is a wonderful place. Teachers are doing it, and Bernie I must say, it is credit, did a study with teachers of way back when we were at Penn State, way back, as a graduate student, and it worked out very well. The children were withdrawn children because everybody always wanted to work with the behavioral problems, and he got the idea that we should pay a little attention to the other children because teachers tend to — they tend to get less into classroom, and that worked out very, very well, that was in the nearby community there.
So when teachers did that and of course you can always pull in other people to be helpers. It does not have to be mothers. A lot of groups are using foster-mothers and other kinds of paraprofessionals, way back a study was done, when we were still at records with head start aids using the — being taught to play techniques and using it with children that had trouble in the classroom. And that worked out very well too, because that was not the really good study. It was not controlled, it was just descriptive.
But nonetheless everybody hoped that you could teach other people, because they did not have to have that investment in a relationship. The deepest level the way parents do that anybody who would work with children have basic kind of caring skills and so on. It could be trained, I do not mean literally everybody. But now you know I am sure you will have your students look at some of these studies now went prisoners and I mean it seems to be endless.
Dr. Glazer:
I think that that really speaks to how incredible the development of Filial Therapy was from the idea back in Michigan to where it is today. It has been incredible.
Dr. Guerney:
It really is, it is just remarkable. At times I think to myself, well all we did was change, we did the playing, but it really brought in enormous amount of changes in the way you approach parents, the way you conceptualize them. It really entails a whole big shift in the model of parent-child work.
Case Scenario Background: Meet the Families
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View the profiles of these potential clients. Choose one client that is of particular interest to you. You will use this client in your course project. This same client will follow with you through several courses in your program.
Roll over each client name to view their presenting symptoms. Click on each client name to view more information.

Name Hannah
Gender Female
Age 7
Heritage Anglo, Scottish-French Heritage
Spirituality Non-practicing, Non-denominational Christian
Presenting symptoms Soiling and wetting her pants
Strength areas Likes to read and write, does well in school, enjoys expressing herself in art, expresses herself verbally
Developmental Normal
Diagnosis NA
Family of Origin —
Mother Elizabeth
Father Sam
Caregivers Living with parents
Siblings Allan, 4
School 2nd grade, public school
Socio-economic status Working class
Interests / hobbies Dancing, singing, performing
Pets None, dog died recently (Momo)
Other Hannah has recently begun to soil and wet her pants. Her family returned to New Orleans 4 months ago after living in a Midwestern city since Katrina hit when Hannah was a toIDler. Her mother and father are living with the mother’s sister’s family. Sam is working as a public school teacher and Elizabeth is starting up graduate school in counseling.

Hannah’s mother and father are both concerned about how Hannah’s early experiences, Katrina for instance, may impact her development. Her parents met in college in New Orleans and they desire to return there. They stayed with Hannah’s father’s family in Chicago after they lost everything during Katrina. Hannah was cared for by her grandparents while in Chicago, and she was very upset when they drove away from their grandparent’s home.

Hannah talked a lot about missing her grandparents and seemed to be progressing well. When her dog Momo died, she immediately developed these symptoms.

Hannah’s mother has one sibling, the sister with whom they are staying; Elizabeth and her sister’s parents died in a car crash when they were young, –Elizabeth was about Hannah’s age; afterward Elizabeth and her sister grew up in their uncle’s home. They were well cared for and loved at their uncle’s, according to Elizabeth.

Hannah’s dad has three older brothers, and he reports as having a very close and positive relationship with his parents and extended family.

Mother, Father, little brother

Name Jared
Gender Male
Age 4
Heritage African American-Scottish
Spirituality Baptist, Practicing
Presenting symptoms Hitting and cussing in pre-kindergarten
Strength areas Loves rap music, loves to dance to rap music, very close to his mother’s younger sister; relationship strong and positive, Sorita and mother are doing well in school
Developmental Moderately delayed in several developmental areas: social skills, awareness of feelings, slightly lagging in large and fine motor skills
Diagnosis NA
Family of Origin —
Mother Malita
Father Not present, not involved
Caregivers Living with mother and grandmother
Siblings None
School Public pre-kindergarten
Socio-economic status Making efforts to transitioning to working class
Interests / hobbies Loves to dance and sing
Pets None
Other Jared hits and cusses at pre-kindergarten. He presents as a very angry little boy. He has never met his father and he and his mother have lived with his grandmother and his mother’s younger sister, Sorita (who is 15) all of his life. His mother Malita has recently graduated from a community college and is in training to become a registered nurse. His grandmother has cared for him with his aunt, while his mother has worked and attended college since his birth.

Jared’s mother is working and attending school and reports that she feels terrible about not spending enough time with Jared. Jared spends a lot of time with Sorita, who is an, highly motivated student, like her older sister Sorita enjoys her time caring for Jared although she wishes she had more time to go out and see her friends. Jared’s grandmother reports that she regrets her daughters did not have relationships with their fathers, and she thinks that this is the root of Jared’s problems. She Grandmother has sought some help from their church minister, who has suggested that he spend time with a male mentor from their congregation. The grandmother is experiencing some chronic physical problems that sap her energy.

Grandmother also reports that men have not been present in the family going back as far as she can recall. She feels both angry and helpless about this history. She herself reports that her own mother was an alcoholic and that in spite of this history, She has improved her life from that of her siblings (three brothers and two sisters), whom she has little or no contact. Two of her brothers have been imprisoned, and the third died in gang violence as a teenager.

Mother, Auntie, Grandmother

Name Austin
Gender Female
Age 10
Heritage French-Canadian
Spirituality Catholic, Practicing
Presenting symptoms Self-depreciatory remarks, self-endangering behaviors, says she wants to die
Strength areas Has one close friend, likes to read, likes to play computer games
Developmental Normal, slight delay in language skills
Diagnosis NA
Family of Origin —
Mother Sally
Father James
Caregivers Living with parents
Siblings Cara, 16, Frances, 12
School 5th grade, private school
Socio-economic status Upper miIDle class
Interests / hobbies Sports
Pets Jasper and Johnny, dogs
Other Austin was discovered with a rope around her throat an apparent suicide attempt at her family’s home. When asked about why she had done this, she replied that she didn’t want to live anymore and that she was different and would never be normal. Austin’s mother blames herself and Austin’s dad because of their visible disappointment that Austin was a girl; they had wanted a boy, and said this in front of Austin. Sally also shared that she was quite depressed during her pregnancies and found it hard to care for Austin when she was a baby. Lastly, after Austin’s birth she was told not to have more children because of the physical dangers that would be involved.

Sally grew up an only child of two older parents. They doted on her and have continued to be very involved in her life, calling daily, and visiting at least once or twice a week. They have lots of advice for Sally and blame what has happened on her inability to ‘give James’ the son that he wanted.

James grew up in a large household of four sons, with very traditional values strongly informed by their religion. His contact with his family of origin has been minimal since his father died 10 years ago. He recalls his parents as being quite harsh and critical, and describes feeling different and out of place a lot of the time. James and Sally have been in counseling, while Austin has been seen in individual play therapy. Austin has been making progress and no longer ‘wants to die’. Recently James disclosed that he believes that he is gay, and wants to leave the marriage. Sally, though upset, has shared that this really does not come as a surprise to her. She also states that her relationship with Austin is now strong and positive and wants to see James become a more involved father before any separation or divorce takes place. Both parents feel that potential changes need to be dependent upon the children’s needs first.

Mother, Father, two sisters

Name Jacob
Gender Male
Age 12
Heritage Eastern European, Russian
Spirituality Jewish, Practicing
Presenting symptoms Nightmares
Strength areas Above average intelligence, outstanding computer skills
Developmental Language delays, large motor skills delays, accident prone
Diagnosis NA
Family of Origin —
Mother Sarah
Father Elliot
Caregivers Living with parents
Siblings Abraham, 4
School 8th grade, public school
Socio-economic status Upper miIDle class
Interests / hobbies Computer games
Pets None
Other Jacob was brought to a child advocacy center in response to a self-report that his uncle (his father’s brother) had fondled him. Sarah, the mother, is a social worker and insisted on bringing him in for an assessment, against the wishes of her husband. The only change reported in Jacob’s behavior was that he began to experience regular nightmares.

Elliot disclosed during the intake interview and subsequent counseling sessions that he and his brother were molested as children by a Boy Scout leader. Sarah and Elliot have been working together in counseling, while Jacob has been seen in a group for boys who have been molested. Jacob is doing well and, the nightmares all but extinguished, though he continues to exhibit extreme fears and is occasionally triggered into rages.

Sarah grew up in an intact family, both parents were professionals, and she and her sister remain close. Both of Sarah’s parents died in a car accident several months before this incident with Jacob occurred. Elliot and his brother were raised by a single mother, and the family lived with her parents who were older and infirmed, with the grandmother dying of cancer while they were in the home. Elliot has asked his brother (who is single with no children) to join them in counseling but he has refused. Elliot is deeply troubled by how his own reluctance to believe and support his son may have caused further suffering. He is very interested in doing what he can to repair this now damaged relationship with his son.

Mother, Father, little brother

Name Hallie
Gender Female
Age 11
Heritage Anglo, Scandinavian (Norwegian) and Scottish
Spirituality Non-practicing Lutheran
Presenting symptoms Sad affect, low energy level, does not play
Strength areas History of doing well in school, has two very good friends although her interactions with them have decreased recently, strong interest in using drama, art and dancing but that has dropped off recently as well
Developmental Delays in multiple areas: social skills, language skills, accident prone
Diagnosis NA
Family of Origin —
Mother Belinda, never married
Father Harry, never married
Caregivers Lives with mother, visits father
Siblings None
School 7th grade, public school
Socio-economic status Poverty with mother and father in working class
Interests / hobbies Music, drama, art, dancing
Pets Peanuts, a cat
Other Hallie arrives at school very early and stays very late and her mood has changed substantially at school recently, going from appearing happy and enthusiastic, to appearing depressed, tired, and uninterested. When a teacher asked Hallie how things were going she began to cry and said that her mother was drinking and staying away from home a lot. Hallie visits her dad every other weekend. He has recently become engaged to be married to a woman and they are expecting a baby.

Belinda grew up in a single family home where her mother worked long hours and she was left to care for herself and her two younger brothers. Her mother would occasionally become involved in short-lived relationships with men; and she was sexually abused by two of these men. She is in contact with her brothers, but not her mother.

Belinda became pregnant with Hallie when she was 16 and decided to keep the child after birth—after originally agreeing to give the child up for adoption.

Harry was 20 when Hallie was born and has made a strong effort to see her and support her. He grew up with his mother, father, and an older sister. Harry has recently expressed an interest in having Hallie move into his home, with his new wife (Joan) and their newborn baby son, Harry Junior. Belinda is opposed to this. She recently began to attend AA, after having been reported to CPS for neglect.

Mother, Father, Stepmother, newborn baby half-brother

Name Darius
Gender Male
Age 5
Heritage Irish, Scottish
Spirituality Non-Practicing, non-denominational Christian
Presenting symptoms Starts fires
Strength areas A leader in his Kindergarten class, well-liked, drama skills
Developmental Delayed language skills
Diagnosis NA
Family of Origin —
Mother Patsy
Father Paul
Caregivers Living with parents
Siblings None
School Kindergarten, public school
Socio-economic status Working class
Interests / hobbies Building things
Pets Clyde, a dog
Other Darius has started four fires in the neighborhood where he lives. A neighbor reported the family to child protective services because of the fires and because Darius spends an extensive amount of time at home alone. The last fire started inside the family kitchen, and required the fire department’s intervention to put it out.

Patsy and Paul grew up in single-parent households, each with multiple siblings (Patsy, four brothers and Paul, three sisters and one brother). Paul has had problems with alcoholism but has been dry and involved with AA for 18 months. He works as a painter. Patsy works at a department store and complains about how Paul treats her. They have been separated three times in the seven years that they have been together. Paul is beginning to talk about having missed out on a relationship with his father and is interested in knowing how he can help Darius. Both Patsy and Paul see their family of origins, but say these visits usually end badly. Recently, Paul has stopped joining Patsy when she visits either side, as several of the siblings and Patsy’s mother drink heavily during the visits.

Mother, Father

Name Marisa
Gender Female
Age 9
Heritage Mother is French-Grecian
Spirituality Practicing Episcopalian
Presenting symptoms Self-injury behaviors, self-depreciatory thinking
Strength areas Over time has begun to respond to her adoptive mother’s attunement and empathic responses to her, although this is intermittent and inconsistent; loves to draw and play piano; strong musical skills
Developmental Delayed in all areas
Diagnosis NA
Family of Origin —
Mother Catherine
Father Unknown
Caregivers Lives with adopted mother
Siblings None
School 4th grade, public school
Socio-economic status Upper miIDle class
Interests / hobbies Drawing, playing piano
Pets None
Other Ma

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