Welcome to Theraplay® UK
Welcome to the website of Theraplay® UK, the affiliated UK organisation to The Theraplay® Institute and part of the worldwide Theraplay® family.
What is Theraplay® ?
When a child is struggling emotionally or finding their education difficult, we tend to try and work out what is going wrong for them. Ann Jernberg developed the Theraplay® method after realising that understanding what is going right for children who are thriving can also help us to understand how to support children experiencing difficulties.
The foundation for lifelong emotional health and resilience is centred on the child’s relationships with the important adults in their life. Healthy relationships should provide moments of engagement and nurture, as well as safely structured opportunities to experience challenge.
Theraplay® supports children and their caregivers through attachment and play-based interventions that strengthen the relationships between them.
Building Relationships from the Inside Out
In sessions, the Theraplay® Practitioner guides the parent and child through playful, fun 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.
A second modality of Theraplay® is used in groups. Group Theraplay® training is for professionals who want to use Theraplay® in classrooms, day care, residential settings or with family groups. A Theraplay® Group is an adult-directed, structured play group that incorporates playful, cooperative and nurturing activities that enhance the emotional well-being of children.
Learning is experiential so instead of talking about positive social behaviour, the group leaders and children DO positive social interaction.
In the following video, Viv Norris and Fiona Peacock, the directors of Theraplay® UK, explore what Theraplay® is and discuss the thinking behind it in more detail, before considering how it can be used. You will also find answers to some of the questions you may have as a parent engaging in Theraplay® with your child.
For many years we believed that the needs of Theraplay® in the UK would be best served by a UK based organisation that could be sensitive to the unique ways in which Theraplay® is being used for our children and families. Theraplay® UK was set up in July 2020 with Viv Norris and Fiona Peacock taking on the role of directors. However, you will guess from the date that setting up an organisation at the start of global pandemic has been less than straightforward.
We remain a very small organisation with a full time administrator. Viv and Fiona undertake the role of director in addition to their usual working lives. The development of the organisation is supported by a steering group that meets in full four times a year with specific working groups meeting more regularly.
Our fundamental aim is that Theraplay® UK will be an organisation that serves the needs of children and families through the provision of high quality Theraplay® training to suitable professionals working with those families.
Currently Theraplay® UK is in working in tandem with The Theraplay® Institute (TTI) in the US while we grow and develop as an organisation. Theraplay® UK is responsible for booking all Theraplay® trainings in the UK as well as managing the Supervisors in training and Trainers in training programme. We also match UK Theraplay® practicum students with UK based supervisors even though practicum students still register with TTI.
As an organisation we are committed to transparency, equality and clarity of communication. We are committed to generating structures that reflect those values which serve the needs of children and families and provide them with Theraplay® experiences that are provided in an ethical, sustainable and professional manner.
Fiona Peacock and Vivien Norris, Co-directors, 2021