While researching models to increase my practice of working with younger children and engaging mothers, I discovered FirstPlay® Therapy. I immediately reached out to the founder and trainer to see how I can learn more about this model. Those interactions led me to spending a week in Boynton Beach Florida and becoming a Certified FirstPlay® Practitioner!
Dr. Janet Courtney, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and internationally recognized Registered Play Therapist Supervisor is the founder of FirstPlay® Infant Massage Storytelling and FirstPlay® Kinesthetic Storytelling®
What is FirstPlay®
FirstPlay® Therapy is a Play Therapy strength-based model that enhances the parent-child relationship and is based upon the work of Play Therapy pioneer, Viola Brody, founder of Developmental Play Therapy (DPT); Ericksonian Play Therapy; Attachment Theory; & research in Touch.
FirstPlay® Therapy focuses on the therapeutic aspects of pre-symbolic play, or “first-play”, the early joyful touch-based activity play that happens between a parent and infant.
FirstPlay® Therapy is offered for two different developmental stages:
- FirstPlay® Infant Massage storytelling is for ages 4 weeks to three years old.
- FirstPlay® Kinesthetic Storytelling is for children ages three to six years.
Practitioners learn how to facilitate respectful, caring & fun touch-based activities between parents and children through demonstrations via baby dolls. The parent simultaneously practices the techniques on their infant/child. The therapist does not touch the child but supports the healing value of touch.
FirstPlay® integrates methods of calming and is an adjunctive model that can be integrated along with other forms of play therapy methods and it can be used with most parents & children regardless of issues, and can also be applied in groups, parent reunification & parent-child residential settings; with adoptive & foster parents; children with autism, behavioral problems, and attention problems.