Attachment-based family therapies can be very helpful in supporting parents to creating stronger bonds with their children while helping their children cope with challenges or struggles. This may be achieved using either a child-parent/caregiver approach (working with the child/children and parent(s)/caregiver(s) together) or a parent-/caregiver-focused approach (working with parent(s)/caregiver(s) only).
For parents/caregivers wishing to work with the parent(s)/caregiver(s) and child(ren) together, Integrative Attachment Family Therapy (IAFT) can be very helpful. IAFT uses Theraplay® principles integrated with some skills from Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) such as PACE (which stands for Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy). Theraplay®-informed work uses gentle, attuned therapeutic play between the parent and child, supported by the therapist, to create an atmosphere of warmth, care, enjoyment and support. It can help strengthen the parent-child relationship while working toward supporting the child with struggles or deeper issues.
For more information about Theraplay® and the DDP skill "PACE", please visit:
The Theraplay® Institute: www.theraplay.org
PACE (a therapeutic parenting skill from DDP): https://ddpnetwork.org/about-ddp/meant-pace/
Another approach that can be beneficial for working with parent(s)/caregiver(s) and child(ren) together is Emotionally Focused Family Therapy (EFFT developed by Dr. Sue Johnson and colleagues). This attachment-based therapy focuses on what is happening within and between family members and works toward reshaping family interactions to create more secure attachment bonds. With the help of the therapist, family members are supported to increase responsiveness, attunement and engagement with each other (particularly from parent to child), in turn increasing understanding and closeness.
For more information about Sue Johnson's approach to EFFT, please visit:
For parent-/caregiver-focused therapy (involving only the parent(s)/caregiver(s)), Emotion-Focused Family Therapy (EFFT), developed by Drs. Adele Lafrance and Joanne Dolhanty, harnesses the parent-child relationship to help parents support their young/teenage children to:
Parents and caregivers can learn these skills and take on these roles regardless of their child’s level of motivation or involvement in formal treatment. Lafrance's model of EFFT can be delivered with individuals only, parents and caregivers only, and with families.
For more information about Adele Lafrance's EFFT approach, please visit:
For more information or to book a session, please fill out the form on the Contact page.