PlayWorks is for parents who want to have better relationships with their kids, improve their behavior, and help them grow socially and emotionally! Parents and caregivers will learn how to bond with their child and implement clinically proven parenting skills through play.
This program was created by transforming a well-researched 10-week clinical treatment model called filial therapy into a 6-week online education program that parents can do at home for a fraction of the cost. Dr. Amy Wickstrom knew the information in filial therapy was helpful for any parent, not just those struggling with their kids, and she wanted parents to be able to access it without having to go to therapy and pay over a thousand dollars for it, so she created PlayWorks, which aims to achieve many of the benefits of filial therapy in a shorter, web-based, and much less-expensive format.
Who is PlayWorks for? It’s primarily for parents of children between 2 and 8 years old, and it can also greatly benefit grandparents, elementary teachers, or anyone who regularly works with young children.
How can PlayWorks benefit your child? PlayWorks is for healthy, well-adapted children, as well as those who are struggling with various adjustments, behavioral difficulties, or mental health issues. It is useful for both well- adapted and struggling children because it aims to help all kids learn how to identify and appropriately express their feelings, develop self-control and decision-making skills, feel better about themselves, and have stronger relationships. While it is not intended to replace therapy for children who need it, it can be used to help them effectively process a wide range of life challenges.
How can PlayWorks benefit you? PlayWorks is intended to help parents feel more confident in their role as parents, learn how to more effectively communicate with their children and meet their emotional needs, learn more about their child’s thoughts, feelings, and life experiences, feel more connected to their child, and learn how to effectively manage and discipline their child’s behavior. Parents will learn some of the basic skills used by child therapists, as well as how to have 30-minute weekly playtimes with their child that mimic what a child therapist does in a clinical setting. Research consistently shows that adults can be trained to be as effective as child therapists when working with their children if they are taught how to use these skills.
Is this program only for parents? No. Grandparents, teachers, childcare workers, and any other adults working with children can greatly benefit from this program.
Is this program considered therapy? No. This program is not therapy. It is an educational program for parents and other adults working with children.
Is this program only geared toward parents of little kids? Yes. This program is intended for parents of children 2-8 years old, but the skills taught can also be applied to preadolescents and even adult relationships.
Is this program primarily for children with difficulties? No. While this program is intended to help parents help their own children who are experiencing a wide range of difficulties, it can also help prevent problems from occurring when implemented with well-adjusted children. The skills taught in this program can be used to encourage and promote the social and emotional growth of any child.
Is it important that my spouse (or co-parent) participates in the program with me? No. It is preferable for parents to participate in the program together, but it is not necessary.