M. Kurtz, M.ED., LSP, LMHC
Seminars & Training
Filial therapy was developed in the 1960's by Drs. Louise and Dr. Bernard
Guerney and is recognized as an effective approach to strengthening
parent, child and family relationships.
Filial therapy uses two important strategies:
Play therapy for children and parent education through direct involvement.
Play is very important in a child's development. Through
play, children express their feelings, learn new skills, develop social
skills and judgments and they learn and practice problem-solving abilities.
In filial therapy, parents are trained to conduct child-centered play sessions
with their children with the goal being to develop positive interactions
between parents and their children and to increase communication, coping
and problem-solving skills. In this way, families are better able to successfully
manage future problems independently.
Therapeutic goals for children include the following:
Therapeutic goals for parents in filial therapy include the following:
To be able to recognize and express feelings
To develop effective problem-solving and coping skills
To increase self-confidence and self-esteem
To increase trust and confidence in their parents
To increase understanding of child development
To increase understanding of their own children
To recognize the importance of play and emotion in children's lives
To decrease feelings of frustration with their children
To increase confidence in their ability to parent
To help open the doors of communication with their children
To enable parents to work together better as a team
To provide a non-threatening atmosphere in which parents may deal with
their own issues as they relate to their children and parenting
Research on filial therapy has shown it to be effective in reducing
child problems and in increasing parental acceptance.