Theraplay® is a structured play therapy for children and their parents. Its goal is
to enhance attachment, self-esteem, and trust in others. The method is fun,
physical, personal, interactive and replicates the natural, healthy interaction
between parents and young children. Children who may benefit display a wide
variety of problems including withdrawn or depressed behavior,
overactive-aggressive behavior, temper tantrums, phobias, and difficulty
socializing and making friends. Children also are referred for various behavior and
interpersonal problems resulting from learning disabilities, developmental delays,
and pervasive developmental disorders. With this method, family interaction
patterns have changed and schools and pediatricians have reported a reduction of
symptoms and improved behavior in the child.

Theraplay® is modeled on the interaction of a healthy parent/child in early
attachment period. Psychopathology results when early and on-going experiences
lead to a negative sense of self.  The roots of self-esteem and trust lie in the early
years so it is important to return to that stage to restart a healthy cycle of
interaction.  Theraplay® activities are intentionally simple and regressive.  They
fall into four dimensions: Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge.  The aim
of these techniques is to create a closeness between parent and child.  This is
obtain through activities in which the child experiences the adult as creating
structure (rules) and also nurture.  The goal of this therapy is that the child be
more at ease with adults and have less need  to stay in charge.  He/she will feel
safe and protected, and will be more open to share their feelings.          

Koko assists in this therapeutic play.  He adds an sense of comfort and trust with
his endless and unconditional love and acceptance.  Koko also provides an extra
level of fun and excitement to the structured activities, intriguing the child to fully
engage and participate.  Nurturing activities appear to be less threatening when
Koko is involves.  Finally, children are very excited and eager to complete
challenge activities along side Koko, such as ball fetch, rollover, bridge pose, and
rest/awake pose.   
To contact Lisa email
To contact Koko email
Therapooch doing Theraplay®
Koko assists Lisa to entice and comfort a shy
and unsure child.  Consistent and nurturing
touch is used to increase attachment and
Koko listens as Lisa and child hold hands
and sing songs, also moving in a slow calm
rocking motion.
Koko is helping Lisa count toes and play
this little piggy.
This is one of Koko's favorite
activties called the bridge pose.
Koko assists in fun structure and
challenge activities.
This is then followed by the awake
pose.  They will then repeat these
poses on the therapists cue. Rest,
awake, rest.......
Another activity which is structured
by the therapist is the resting pose.
To learn more about Theraplay® visit
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