What is Theraplay®? Who is it for?

Theraplay® is a type of family therapy for both the child and the parent.   It is an evidenced-based effective attachment intervention most suitable for families who are raising children that have experienced complex and severe trauma and are parenting severely dysregulated children.

Strong attachment between children and the important adults in their life is believed to be the basis of lifelong good mental health, as well as the mainstay of resilience in the face of adversity. Modern brain research and the field of neuroscience have shown that attachment is the way in which children come to understand, trust and thrive in their world.


Theraplay® is a directive therapeutic approach where the family therapist assesses the child’s attachment to their caregiver by guiding the parent and child through playful games, developmentally challenging activities, and tender, nurturing activities. The very act of engaging each other in this way helps the parent regulate the child’s behaviour and communicate love, joy and safety to the child. It helps the child feel secure, cared for, connected and worthy. The play therapy activities are done with the child, parent and therapist all actively involved.  

For children, having a parent or guardian engage with them in their language of play communicates a unique type of love and support, while building a more positive parenting experience. This is often hard to reach during other parental activities.

Why use Theraplay®

Theraplay ® is an invaluable tool for all families.

Theraplay ® provides parents a tool to help regulate their child’s behaviour while bringing the child a sense of joy, connection and security. Children want to feel understood, safe, supported and most of all, loved. Theraplay ® is a vehicle for all of these emotions to be addressed in a playful and creative way.

Do you want to know a bit more about Theraplay?

Let’s organise a free, no obligation free chat.

Theraplay includes play can calm the storm in your child’s inner world and bring some well-deserved harmony to your home.

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Here’s what our clients had to say about their children and our Play Therapy Melbourne:

Children’s therapy centre

We began play therapy hoping that it would be an effective way of breaking the difficult cycle that I was in with my son. Our play therapist, Mardi, has a beautiful manner with our son and we have valued her insightful observations about what may be underlying his behaviours.

Danielle (Mother)
Filial Therapy Melbourne Testimonial

The combination of the play therapy and implementing her simple strategies has been very effective in changing things at home. We have found play therapy to be very beneficial for our family and are now undertaking filial therapy to continue to reap the rewards of the play therapy approach.

Karen & Rob (Parents)
Play Therapy Melbourne Testimonial

Natalie is fun, bright and bubbly. Through Play Therapy, she was easily able to connect with my child and we cannot believe how much he has transformed from being an anxious and unsure little boy, into the settled, confident and social child he is now.

Emma (Parent)

My child has a trauma background. He’s getting the Play therapy for about 9 months now. I can’t not thank Helen enough for her help and support . It’s been a very hard journey but the result is amazing. He has got great control on his emotions. He is a happy boy now 🙂

Mark & Linda (Parents)
Child Therapy Melbourne Testimonial

Donna’s play therapy & animal assisted therapy work has been instrumental in supporting & developing an understanding of the underlying issues of our disengaged refugee students. Her expertise has also been welcomed by staff who needed insight in engaging & developing strategies to meet the needs of our highly challenging students.

Ivan Araujo (Dandenong West Primary Youth Worker)

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