Involving Parents in the Therapy Process

There are many reasons to directly involve parents and carers more in the play therapy process.  Increasing parental input in the therapy process can greatly enhance the child’s therapeutic journey. This workshop is designed to equip participants with a range of tools for successfully involving parents and carers in the therapy process.

This day will include a mix of theory and experiential work aimed at increasing participant’s skills and competencies in involving parents or carers as secondary clients in the therapy processes

Within the workshop we will address common blocks and challenges that arise during the therapy process. We will also explore ways in which we can help parents to understand the therapy process and increase feelings of inclusion and collaboration in the work. We will focus on  working with resistance and anger and also managing expectations.  Clear communication strategies for use in intake and review sessions will be presented. The day is designed to equip participants with a range of tools for successfully involving parents in the therapy process.

Learning objectives:

  • Increase confidence and competence in involving parents and carers in the therapy process.
  • Develop communication strategies for use in intake and review sessions.
  • Explore strategies for working with parental resistance and anger.

Develop skills for working with parents as secondary clients.


Emer McDonagh

Emer holds an MA in Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy and Play Therapy and a BA (HONS) in Applied Social Studies in Social Care. She has extensive experience working with children who have experienced domestic violence and also with non residential parents and their children, maintaining and promoting quality contact. Emer has been involved in the Daphne III programme Responding to Child Parent Violence action research project, training in Non Violent Resistance and the Break 4 Change programme targeting services to families affected by Child Parent Violence. Emer has also completed Intensive Filial Therapy Training, and mindfulness training. Emer also provides a family support role with families affected by meningitis. She has developed a number of workshops to support adults such as “You, Your Thoughts & Your ACTions”, addressing stress and anxiety, “Don’t Just Survive, Thrive!, parenting children affected by Meningitis”. She has also developed and facilitated workshops to support whole families including “Reconnecting after Meningitis” and the sibling support workshop “Me Too!”. Emer has worked with the Brothers of Charity services and been involved in a number of Humanitarian aid projects in both Ethiopia and Peru. Currently Emer is in private practice at Acorns 2 Oaks Therapy Services and also provides trainings for professionals working with vulnerable children. Emer facilitates our Level 6 Therapeutic Play Skills Certificate in Galway and also works as a CTC supervisor.

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