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Family Therapy and Parenting

We have many therapy options for families and are open to seeing families of all types and configurations. 

We offer a variety of family counselling options, including family therapy with all family members or child-parent therapy to strengthen the attachment relationship. Read below to learn more about two specific child-parent therapy modalities. 


Theraplay is a child and family therapy for building and enhancing attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. It is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parent and child and is personal, physical, and fun. Theraplay interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge. Theraplay sessions create an active, emotional connection between the child and parent or caregiver, resulting in a changed view of the self as worthy and lovable and of relationships as positive and rewarding.

Theraplay is a special type of play therapy that can improve your child’s behaviour in unique ways. Using the therapeutic benefits of joyful play and sensitive caregiving, Theraplay focuses on strengthening your relationship with your child, enhancing your sense of connection and mutual understanding so that your child no longer needs to resort to problem behaviours. As the most important people in a child’s life, caregivers, are actively involved in sessions. With the help of the therapist who is skilled at changing what may seem to you a permanent negative dynamic between you, you and your child will experience delight and enjoyment in each other, and your child will become more responsive to you. Charlene is a Certified Foundational Theraplay practitioner. 


Why focus on my relationship with my child when it is my child’s behaviour that is the problem?


Good question! While other therapies may work primarily with your child alone or work with you on managing her behaviours, in Theraplay the focus of treatment is on how your child feels about herself and about you, and how you feel about her. This is because your relationship with each other is the most powerful and most influential element for change. Although some problems can reside for the most part in your child (sensory issues, developmental issues and trauma, for example), how you respond to any problems your child is exhibiting can make a huge difference. In Theraplay sessions, we help your child experience interactions that have previously been hard or troublesome in new ways that help her learn that relationships can be positive and even fun and that you understand her needs. This will help her be more cooperative with and responsive to you and others.

This information was taking from the Theraplay website at​. Please contact us if this interests you.

(Child Parent Relationship Therapy Program)

Child Parent Relationship Training (also called Filial Therapy) is a research-based, 10-session group parenting program developed at the University of North Texas. It is a combination between play therapy and family therapy. The focus is on the relationship between you and your child, rather than the problem.

CPR-T teaches parents how to use some of the same skills that play therapists use to help children experiencing social, emotional, or behavioural problems. This play-based approach not only helps parents learn to manage their children’s behaviour successfully, it also provides parents with the keys to enhancing and strengthening the parent-child bond, and having more fun with their children. Charlene has completed foundation level training in Child Parent Relationship Training with the founders of CPR-T, Gary Landreth and Sue Bratton.

The Globe and Mail published an article a few years ago on the disintegration of the parent-child bond, which you can read here or view it on the Globe and Mail website.

Here are some highlights of the program when it is offered in a group setting:

  • ​10 weekly 2-hour sessions in a small group of like-minded people provide a chance to develop new skills in a fun and supportive atmosphere.

  • Included in each week are skill teaching, demonstration videos, group discussion, role playing exercises, laughter and camaraderie.

  • 30-minute weekly play sessions, conducted at home with your child, allows you the chance to practice your new skills while developing a positive and nurturing relationship together.

  • Learn to really listen to what your child is saying – not just with their words, but with their play, their actions, and their body language.

  • Learn to respond to your child in a way that helps them to know that you understand and you care!

  • Both (or all) parents are encouraged to join a group.  Why?  Because the process of CPR-T develops a close and meaningful bond between the parent and child.  It is best, of course not to leave any parent out of that bonding process. 

We can also offer this program in a one-on-one format. It is more costly this way, but may better fit the scheduling needs of your family. Contact us if this interests you. 

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