Theraplay is a structured game therapy approach based on attachment and interaction. It is a developed therapy model related to establishing secure attachment and healthy relationships Decoupled between parent and child. Theraplay is a practical therapy with infants, children, and adolescents. In addition, the Theraplay approach has been developed to be applicable in many places such as clinics, mental health centers, schools, and nursing homes. The sessions include fun, animated, and interactive games that Decipher the naturally occurring interaction between parent and child and the healthy parent-child relationship.

Jan 17, 2024 - 15:08
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 There are no toys in the Theraplay game room. The therapist determines the games the child will play with the child in advance and brings toys or supplies for that session. These materials are; balls, aluminum foil, napkins, feathers, cake, juice, cotton balls, etc. materials that can be found in every home. The Theraplay game room is a room with a double window. It is designed in such a way that those inside cannot see outside, but those outside can watch inside. 

Only the therapist and child play in the room for the first five sessions. Other therapists and parents also watch their games through the glass or the camera. In later sessions, the parent is also involved in the games. Then, the session is Decoupled between parent and child with therapist observation and accompaniment. During the first sessions in which the parent is involved, the therapist plays an active role in facilitating the interaction between the child and the parent. These sessions are then monitored and talked to the parent with a camera, situations where the parent disrupts the interaction and is forced are transferred to the child by the therapist, and new skills are shown to the parent by creating awareness.

 Theraplay is focused on four key elements:

1. Structure

This element includes security, organization, and regulation. The parent sets boundaries, sets body boundaries, and keeps the child safe. For example; Measuring children's height, arm, leg, hand, and ear length. Measuring how far it will jump. To mummify the child by wrapping toilet paper around his body and then to make the child get rid of it.

 2. Commitment

It involves attachment, acceptance, and expanding positive emotions. The parent provides a strong bond, a shared experience of joy. For example; stick a colored paste on your nose, and ask the child to remove it.

 3. Feeding

It involves editing and seeing value. Parents respond with a moderate, gentle, calming approach. For example, when feeding a child fruit or pudding, embrace the child with care. Paint each other's faces, and add a word to praise each place you paint.

 4. Struggle

The competition includes self-confidence and supporting exploration. The parent supports the child to take risks, strive, explore, and master their skills. For example; both the child and you, hold a pillow in front of you, and blow the feather toy over this pillow. Let the child also try to hold it with his pillow.

Theraplay can be applied to children between the ages of 2-12. It is a play therapy used in children who have difficulty in social relationships, introversion, behavioral problems, depression, shyness, attachment problems, confrontational or anger attacks, that is, experience emotional difficulties. It is also effective in children with autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay, and physical difficulties.

You can get more detailed information from the Theraplay Game and Family Therapy Association, established in Turkey in 2019 for the dissemination and development of game and family therapies and theraplay therapy.

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Rana Gülşen Pekel Merhaba, ben Rana Gülşen PEKEL. Çağ Üniversitesi’nde Psikoloji Bölümü 4. Sınıf öğrencisiyim. Deneysel Psikoloji, Nöropsikoloji, Fizyolojik Psikoloji, Öğrenme Psikolojisi ve Endüstriyel Psikoloji alanları ile ilgileniyorum. Lisans eğitimim boyunca EFPSA (Avrupa Psikoloji Öğrencileri Birlikleri Federasyonu) ile Mind the Mind projesi kapsamında uluslararası çalışma yürütüp bunun yanında Adana Güzelyalı Hastanesi’nde ve Rehber Klinik’te Klinik Psikoloji, Adana Adliyesi’nde Adli Psikoloji ve Adana Sheraton Grand Hotel’de İnsan Kaynakları alanlarında stajlar yaparak kendimi alanlar arası geliştirme imkanı buldum. Aynı zamanda psikoloji öğrencilerinin eğitimlere ulaşılabilirliğini arttırmaya yönelik oluşturulan bir eğitim platformunda Üniversite Temsilciliği ve Eğitim Koordinatörlüğü yaparak tecrübe kazandım. Lisans eğitimim sonrasında nöropsikoloji alanında uluslararası çalışmalar yapmayı planlıyorum. Sayedra Psikoloji yönetim kurulunda yer alırken aynı zamanda Makale Çeviri Koordinatörlüğü görevimi sürdürüyorum. İdeallerim doğrultusunda kendimi sürekli güncel tutuyor ve uluslararası çalışmaları takip ederek geliştiriyorum.