The present study aims to investigate the outcomes of the Focal Play Therapy with Children and Parents (FPT-CP) in terms of parent–therapist alliance, parent–child interactions, and parenting stress. Thirty parental couples (N = 60; 30 mothers and 30 fathers) and their children presenting behavioral, evacuation and eating disorders took part to the study. Through a multi-method longitudinal approach, data were collected at two time points (first and seventh sessions) marking the first phase of the intervention specifically aimed to build the alliance with parents, a crucial variable for the remission of the child’s symptoms (and to the assessment of the child’s symptoms within family dynamics.) Therapeutic alliance was assessed by the Working Alliance Inventory by therapists and parents. Parent–child interactions and parenting stress were evaluated using the Emotional Availability Scales and the Parenting Stress Index, respectively. Results showed that a positive parent–therapist alliance was developed and maintained during the first seven sessions. Furthermore, parent–child interactions significantly improved on both parents’ and child’s dimensions. However, parenting stress levels remained unchanged between the two time points. The findings should enrich scientific knowledge about the role of parental engagement in preschool child-focused treatments as to better inform practice and improve the quality of care for children and their families.

The Focal Play Therapy: An Empirical Study on the Parent–Therapist Alliance, Parent–Child Interactions and Parenting Stress in a Clinical Sample of Children and Their Parents

Chirico Ilaria;Andrei Federica;Salvatori Paola;Malaguti Irene;Trombini Elena
2020

Abstract

The present study aims to investigate the outcomes of the Focal Play Therapy with Children and Parents (FPT-CP) in terms of parent–therapist alliance, parent–child interactions, and parenting stress. Thirty parental couples (N = 60; 30 mothers and 30 fathers) and their children presenting behavioral, evacuation and eating disorders took part to the study. Through a multi-method longitudinal approach, data were collected at two time points (first and seventh sessions) marking the first phase of the intervention specifically aimed to build the alliance with parents, a crucial variable for the remission of the child’s symptoms (and to the assessment of the child’s symptoms within family dynamics.) Therapeutic alliance was assessed by the Working Alliance Inventory by therapists and parents. Parent–child interactions and parenting stress were evaluated using the Emotional Availability Scales and the Parenting Stress Index, respectively. Results showed that a positive parent–therapist alliance was developed and maintained during the first seven sessions. Furthermore, parent–child interactions significantly improved on both parents’ and child’s dimensions. However, parenting stress levels remained unchanged between the two time points. The findings should enrich scientific knowledge about the role of parental engagement in preschool child-focused treatments as to better inform practice and improve the quality of care for children and their families.
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH
Chirico Ilaria, Andrei Federica, Salvatori Paola, Malaguti Irene, Trombini Elena
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/780653
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