What are Theraplay® Groups?
Charlotte and Julie provide structured and therapeutic group experiences for children with their parents or in schools. The groups involve everyone, led by Charlotte or Julie, in playful and fun activities that will be co-operative and nurturing. The aim is that children’s self-esteem, sense of belonging, ability to trust and care for self and others grows. It is a fun session where children grow emotionally and socially, learning along the way. Parents who are part of groups feel very connected with their children.
Theraplay groups are about experiencing healthy interactions with key adults and peers. The children are learning through what they experience and do to others and this can let them be themselves whilst learning to feel more positive about themselves and others. In a group rather than talk about behaviours we demonstrate and encourage through play.
Who can come to a group?
Within schools small groups with particular needs or whole classes can benefit. Teachers and other staff are encouraged to be involved and this builds their skills in using the activities and ways of interacting outside of the group. This is complemented by the training we offer for schools.
Charlotte also runs groups for children and their parents including adoptive families and children with autism. These can be provided through community organisations and fostering and adoption agencies.
Parent and child groups are also supported by an interactive web based group so parents can discuss, with one another and Charlotte, how they are using the activities outside of weekly sessions.
Children will bring one of their parents to a session who will join in with the group activities some of which may be one to one. Parents can decide who will attend but both parents are encouraged to enjoy the sessions.
These groups can be helpful for adoptive families waiting for an assessment, any family considering if therapeutic support will help them or families wanting to add in more time to connect with their child.
How long is a group?
Each group session will last up to 45 minutes. When you decide to come to a group we ask that you attend every session. Our sessions run in blocks of 6 during school term time. It helps the children to know who will be there each week. It is recommended that you attend at least 12 groups.
Charlotte and Julie will meet with parents who are going to be part of the group before sessions begin to discuss their child or gather relevant information from teachers within a school setting.
We use Theraplay® and DDP techniques to help children and their parents or caregivers to communicate and connect in a playful and fun way.
Theraplay is ideal for any child experiencing separation anxiety, dealing with divorce or loss in the family, or settling into a new family arrangement. It can also be really helpful to children with autism or ADHD where social relationships and communication are challenging.
DDP helps fostering and adoptive families explore deepening their connection.
Schools and other organisations can access training courses and packages of support based on childhood brain development and attachment theories.
There will be a focus on practical strategies to use in the classroom to help regulate children. Other training around fostering, adoption and SGOs is also available.