A Comparison of Skill Level of Parents Trained in the Landreth Filial Therapy Model and Graduate Students Trained in Play Therapy

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The purpose of this study was to determine if parents trained in the Landreth Filial Therapy Model could demonstrate child-centered play therapy skills as effectively as graduate play therapy students who completed an Introduction to Play Therapy course. The participants in both the parent group and the graduate student group were videotaped in play sessions with children pre- and post-training in order to measure change in adult empathic behavior as defined on the Measurement of Empathy in Adult-Child Interaction (MEACI). The specific skills measured in this study were (a) communicating acceptance to the child, (b) allowing the child to direct ... continued below

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Elling, Roseanne Paul May 2003.

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  • Elling, Roseanne Paul

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The purpose of this study was to determine if parents trained in the Landreth Filial Therapy Model could demonstrate child-centered play therapy skills as effectively as graduate play therapy students who completed an Introduction to Play Therapy course. The participants in both the parent group and the graduate student group were videotaped in play sessions with children pre- and post-training in order to measure change in adult empathic behavior as defined on the Measurement of Empathy in Adult-Child Interaction (MEACI). The specific skills measured in this study were (a) communicating acceptance to the child, (b) allowing the child to direct his or her own play during the play sessions, (c) demonstrating appropriate levels of involvement in the child's play, and (d) demonstrating empathic behavior toward the child. The Landreth Filial Therapy Model is a training system that utilizes both didactic and dynamic means to train parents and other paraprofessionals to be therapeutic agents of change with children. Parents are taught child-centered play therapy skills to use in weekly home play sessions with their children in order to strengthen the emotional bond between parent and child. The Introduction to Play Therapy course is a graduate-level counseling course at the University of North Texas taught by Dr. Garry Landreth. The course focuses on the philosophy, theory, and skills of child-centered play therapy. Students enrolled in this course typically plan to use play therapy in professional settings. The filial-trained parent group (n = 21) consisted of the experimental group of single parents from Bratton and Landreth's (1995) study, Filial Therapy with Single Parents, Effects of Parental Acceptance, Empathy and Stress. The parents met for weekly 2-hour filial therapy sessions over the course of 10 weeks and conducted six or seven 30-minute play sessions at home with their child-of-focus. The graduate student group (n = 13) was enrolled in Dr. Landreth's Introduction to Play Therapy course during fall 2000. The class met over a course of a 15-week semester for three hours per week. During the course of the semester, the students completed two play therapy sessions outside of class and two supervised play therapy sessions during class time. Analysis of covariance revealed that the play therapy-trained graduate students preformed at a statistically significant higher skill level than the filial-trained parents on Total Empathy scores and the Involvement subscale, but that there was no statistically significant difference between the groups' skill level on Communication of Acceptance to the child and Allowing the Child Self-Direction. Although the graduate students' mean post-training scores revealed a higher attainment of skill level, the parents made greater mean change of score on all measures except Involvement. The study supports the use of the Landreth Filial Therapy Model to train parents to use the child-centered play therapy skills, especially those of communicating acceptance and allowing self-direction.

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  • May 2003

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  • Feb. 15, 2008, 2:31 p.m.

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  • April 26, 2016, 4:43 p.m.

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Elling, Roseanne Paul. A Comparison of Skill Level of Parents Trained in the Landreth Filial Therapy Model and Graduate Students Trained in Play Therapy, dissertation, May 2003; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4223/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .