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Group Filial Therapy


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Table of Contents

Introduction. 1. An Overview of Filial Therapy and Group Filial Therapy. 2. The Selection of Suitable Participants and the Intake Process for GFT. 3. Guidelines for Conducting Successful GFT Groups. 4. The Main Skills Parents Learn in GFT. 5. Starting the GFT Program: Meeting 1. 6. Starting Play Demonstrations and Skills Learning: Meeting 2. 7. Continuing Demonstrations and Skills Practice: Meeting 3. 8. Continuing Demos and Skills Practice: Meeting 4. 9. Mock Play Sessions and Preparation for Practice Play Sessions: Meeting 5. 10. Beginning Practice Play Sessions: Meeting 6-7. 11. Parents' Second Practice Play Sessions: Meetings 8-10. 12. Transition to Home Play Sessions: Meetings 11-12. 13. Early Home Play Sessions: Meetings 13-15. 14. Generalizing Play Session Skills and Preparation for Ending: Meetings 16-19. 15. Ending the GFT Program: Meeting 20. 16. Applications of the 20 Week GFT Program. References. Appendices 1-21. Index.

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A guide for therapists to train parents in conducting therapeutic play sessions with their own children

About the Author

Dr Louise Guerney, together with her husband, Dr. Bernard Guerney, Jr., is known as the creator of Filial Therapy. She is Professor Emerita of Human Development and Counselling Psychology at Pennsylvania State University, and former Director of Play and Filial Family Training at the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement (NIRE) in Bethesda, Maryland. She is recognized internationally as one of the most prominent and innovative practitioners of Child-centered Play Therapy. Dr Guerney is a licensed Clinical Psychologist, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor and a founding Board Member of the Association for Play Therapy. She has published extensively on Child Centered Play Therapy and Filial Therapy. She lives in Maryland, USA. Dr Virginia Ryan is a Chartered Child and Adolescent Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and a qualified Play Therapist and Play Therapy Supervisor with the British Association of Play Therapists (BAPT). In addition to considerable practical experience in a variety of settings, Virginia has pioneered the academic establishment of both Filial Therapy and Non-directive Play Therapy in Britain and Ireland and was the co-founder and Director of the University of York's former Master's program in Non-directive Play Therapy. She lives in Hull, UK.


Group Filial Therapy is an extraordinary read on so many levels. -- BACP Children & Young People
Group Filial Therapy is truly a masterpiece! Guerney and Ryan have detailed a vast amount of sage and practical information guaranteed to heighten practitioners' effectiveness when working with children and their families. Comprehensive, theoretically-grounded, and empirically supported, Group Filial Therapy is a compelling and pragmatic reference that is a must-read for any clinician, at any experience level, working with children, families, and groups of families. It features Filial Therapy as originally conceived and refined during the past 50 years by its founders, Bernard and Louise Guerney. This much-anticipated work will be a classic in the fields of Filial Therapy, play therapy, child psychotherapy, and family therapy. It is a fabulous gift from the authors, and it deserves to be read cover-to-cover. -- Rise VanFleet, Ph.D., RPT-S, CDBC, President, Family Enhancement & Play Therapy Center and author of Filial Therapy: Strengthening Parent-Child-Relationships Through Play, Pennsylvania, USA
Filial therapy, co-developed by Louise Guerney, is the most significant happening in the field of mental health in the past 50 years because this innovative approach has the potential to improve a society. Group Filial Therapy is a long-awaited and much-needed book that provides insight into the dynamics of filial therapy and a practical how-to approach for implementing the intricacies of the process. Mental health professionals will want to return to this book again and again for helpful instruction. -- Dr. Garry L. Landreth, Regents Professor, Counseling and Higher Education Department, University of North Texas
I am delighted that a very practical, step-by-step manual for conducting the Guerney model of Group Filial Therapy is now available! Kudos to Drs Louise Guerney and Virginia Ryan for preparing this comprehensive, clearly-written handbook which will serve to both improve the practice and strengthen the research base of Filial Therapy. -- Charles E. Schaefer, Ph.D., RPT-S, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, New Jersey and Co-founder of the Association for Play Therapy, Fresno, California
This book is a must-have for all clinicians who work with families. What a gift as a therapist to be able to assist and empower a parent to help and support their child as well as enhance their parent/child relationship via play. This book breaks down why Group Filial Therapy is advantageous for families, how to set up a parent group that is needs-balanced with the optimal number of children and parents, clinical goals, supervision issues to address, how to create play kits, etc. Essentially, the GFT clinician can use this resource from intake to group closure. Case illustrations connect theory with practice and the book ends with additional resources that the GFT clinician can seek out for further information. This will be the book that all clinicians want in their office. -- Theresa Fraser, CYW, M.A., CPT-S, Trauma and Loss Clinical Specialist and President of the Canadian Association for Child and Play Therapy
The book provides detailed guidance, problem solving and resources on how to set-up and run a GFT group... If you work with families where children are traumatised, have emotional difficulties, conduct disorder, poor family relationships, are adopted/fostered, then filial therapy could provide an intervention which effects change where other parenting programmes may not. -- Ms R. Rayner, Independent Clinical social worker * Professional Social Work *
The aim of this book is to provide a complete guide to the theory and practice of Group Filial Therapy (GFT)... this book goes into vast amounts of detail and appears to consider every possible problem which may arise... This book would be useful for educational psychologists who work (or are interested in working) therapeutically with parents or carers of children for whom attachment difficulties, early trauma, serious anxiety or emotional regulation have made other interventions problematic. -- Emma Birch, Trainee EP * Debate - British Psychological Society *

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