Research Demonstrating the Effectiveness

of Filial Family Therapy


Child-Centered Play Therapy and Filial Family Therapy
Child-Centered Play Therapy (CCPT) is the most extensively used form of play therapy for children. First created by Virginia Axline, CCPT is a research validated intervention that has been proven effective in helping children with a wide range of emotional challenges and/or behavioral issues. Filial Family Therapy teaches the skills of CCPT to parents so that they can conduct therapeutic play sessions with their own children. In this way, Filial Therapy leverages the parent–child bond and the symbolic potential of play in order to address a wide range of child, parenting and parent–child relationship difficulties.

The Effectiveness of Filial Family Therapy
The research literature clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of Filial Family Therapy. Indeed, a meta-analysis representing a comprehensive review of 93 outcome research studies completed on play therapy then extant (Bratton, et al., 2000) established two important findings. First, the clinical effectiveness of play therapy as a therapeutic intervention with children was firmly established, with an average effect size (or positive outcome measure) of .80.

Second, Filial Therapy was demonstrated to be the single most effective of form play therapy, with the highest across the board therapeutic gains of any play therapy method. The group of 22 filial studies focused exclusively on training parents had an average effect size of 1.15. These are impressive results for Filial Therapy as a family therapy intervention using the power of play to facilitate improved child functioning and stronger parent-child relationships.

Bratton, S., Ray, D., Rhine, T., & Jones, L. (2000). The efficacy of play therapy with children: A Meta-analytic review of the outcome research. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 36(4), 376-390.