Parent Child Relationship Therapy


Diane McGeachy

Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist
Accredited Gestalt Psychotherapist
Hobart, Tasmania

About this program

The Parent Coaching Program otherwise known as Filial Therapy is for parents who have children ages 2-12. This program focuses on using play as a means for parents to engage with their children and to support them to work through a variety of challenges their child may be experiencing.

Children’s cognitive and language development limit their capacity to fully articulate their experience with words. Play supports children to find ways suited for them to express feelings, make sense of their experiences, explore relationships with others and to understand themselves and their world.

Children use toys as their words and play as their language and are able to externalize particular problems or difficulties onto toys and objects. This allows the child to feel as safe as possible while they work through significant and often distressing experiences.

Who this program is designed for

The program is designed for parents who are experiencing a range of challenges with their children. These challenges may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Abuse and neglect
  • ADHD
  • Aggression and acting out
  • Attachment difficulties
  • Bullying
  • Burn victims
  • Bedwetting
  • Chronic illness
  • Dissociation
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Grief and loss
  • Hospitalization
  • Learning disabilities
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Parental separation
  • Reading difficulties
  • School refusal
  • Selective mutism
  • Self-esteem
  • Social adjustment problems
  • Speech difficulties
  • Sexual abuse
  • Trauma
  • Withdrawn children

How this program works

The program will run over 10 consecutive weeks, with each session lasting two hours. Eight sessions will be in group format with an individual session at the beginning and end of the program. Sessions will take place in a small group setting (maximum 10 people) in a warm and welcoming environment.

A new topic will be introduced each week, with relevant experiential components. A significant portion of each session will include open discussion among the group. Program components include:

  • Basic play therapy skills training
  • Viewing demonstrated play sessions
  • Watching videos of parent-child sessions from group participants
  • Receiving supportive feedback from the group
  • Role playing
  • Learning effective limit setting skills
  • A variety of didactic experiences

Through these specifically chosen experiential components parents learn to convey acceptance, empathy, and encouragement to their children. Throughout this process parents notice changes from within and also between the parent and child.

Program Benefits

The parent-child relationship is, in most circumstances the most important relationship in the child’s life. Parents will explore their relationship with their child and gain clarity on the strengths and difficulties they are experiencing. Parents will be supported by the group facilitators as well as have the support of the group and hear other parents’ challenges. Over the course of the program parents will learn new skills and tools for engaging with their children and find ways of relating to their child that feel meaningful for both the child and parent.

More information

For more information on the Parent Coaching or Filial Therapy Program, please refer to the following article written by Diane McGeachy- Play TherapyPlease check with us for specialist Parent Coaching Programs run for particular issues such as coping with your child having a terminal illness, groups for Adoptive Services, Foster Carers and more.

Diane McGeachy
Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist
Accredited Gestalt Psychotherapist

Phone: (03) 6285 8592

Hobart Counselling Centre
Level 1,
181 Elizabeth Street Hobart TAS 7000