"In every seed is the promise of a thousand forests." 
(Deepak Chopra)

Parent-Child Attachment Play


Parent-Child Attachment Play is a ground-breaking new approach based on decades of research that supports parents in becoming agents of change in their own homes, helping family relationships to change for the better - for good.

What is Parent-Child attachment Play (PCAP)?

PCAP is a gentle play-based approach aimed at improving the attachment quality of the parent-child relationship. It uses well-documented attachment mechanisms and child-oriented play with parents/carers of children aged 3+ in order to facilitate positive changes within the family home.

This approach is based on groundbreaking research into what we now know about how parents can change and support secure attachment with their children, creating more secure and less fractious / challenging relationships. Furthermore, it is a strength-based approach that trusts that parents/ carers are agents of change in their own home and it empowers parents/ carers to consciously bring about more positive relationships.

Practitioners using the Parent-Child Attachment Play approach support parents/ carers in developing/ strengthening key parental skills identified in research as crucial to building secure (and happy) family relationships, focusing on three main skills of Child-Led Play, Containment/ Boundary-Setting and Reflective Functioning. This approach helps parents/ carers to see beyond the surface of children's behaviour (which often results in a cycle of misbehaviour-punishment-anger-further rifts in the relationships-further misbehaviour) and get to the heart of the matter: Their relational interaction with their child and how to improve it for good. Practitioners work directly with the parent(s)/ carer(s) (individually or in groups) with a view to learn about, practice, implement and generalise these attachment mechanisms in their own homes over the course of approximately 3 months, bringing about a multitude of change for the better.


What are the benefits of Parent-Child Attachment Play?

  • Secure attachment in infancy is associated with optimal later development across all domains including emotional, regulating behaviour, ability to develop relationships, ability to learn and succeed.

  • Secure attachment mediates the impact of trauma and deprivation.

  • Attachment schema (internal working models) can be repaired and reworked.

  • Children who feel more secure become better at communicating their needs and trusting their needs will be met, which reduces problematic and worrying behaviours - for good.

  • Parent/carers learn new skills for encouraging cooperation with their children and feel more in control in their own home.

  • Parent/carers feel more confident with their children and enjoy a happier relationship


How is Parent-Child Attachment Play different to other parent support programmes?

A variety of parent support programmes are available across Ireland such as the Incredible Years (IY) and Triple P which have been proven to be very effective in teaching parents behaviour-management strategies to affect change in the home. PCAP on the other hand is based on mounting evidence in the inter-relational basis for all human behaviour, particularly the influence of a secure attachment relationship between a child and parent/ carer that mitigates all interaction. Often, parents/ carers will use behavioural techniques in a way that do not appear to affect positive change as such and sometimes can seem to make things worse, as the focus stays on the child's behaviour, not their internal motivations and needs. Parent-Child Attachment Play on the other hand helps parents/ carers to become more conscious and skilled in responding to their children on a positive relational basis, fostering mutual understanding and improved reciprocal relationships.

Who is Parent-Child Attachment Play suitable for?

  • Parents/ carers whose child/ren show a variety of emotional and/or behavioural difficulties and who are interested in learning/ strengthening their own skill set in order to create positive change within their relationship with their child/ren

  • Foster carers interested in establishing and strengthening attachment relationships with children who have experienced attachment disruption

  • Parents/ carers who can commit to attend weekly sessions


If you are interested in this service, please contact us for further information or to arrange an initial consultation. Please refer to the Contact page for details.





Play Therapy (a form of Child Counselling/ Child Therapy/ Child Psychotherapy) and Creative Therapy (a form of Adult Counselling/ Adult Therapy/ Psychotherapy) and Clinical Supervision/ Creative Supervision is provided by a trained and experienced Accredited Play Therapist, Janine Nehrig. Janine is a member of Play Therapy Ireland PTIrl, the Psychological Society of Ireland PSI and the Register of Play and Creative Arts Therapists, Accredited Register, accredited and regulated by the UK government Professional Standards Authority PSA. Clinical Supervision is further accepted by the Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists IACAT. ARCH Creative and Play Therapy Centre is located in Limerick City, County Limerick, Munster and is within convenient reach of nearby villages and cities such as Abbeyfeale, Adare, Annacotty, Askeaton, Ballina, Ballybrophy, Ballycahill, Ballyhahill, Ballyhea, Ballylanders, Birr, Borrisoleigh, Broadford, Bruff, Bruree,  Caherconlish, Cappagh, Cappamore, Castleconnell, Charleville, Clarecastle, Cloonlara, Croagh, Croom, Crusheen, Dolla, Doon, Dromcollogher, Ennis, Ennistymon, Fedamore, Foynes, Glin, Grange, Hospital, Kildimo, Kilfannane, Kilkishen, Killaloe, Kilmallock, Kilmurry, Kilrush, Lisnagry, Milford, Mitchelstown, Montpelier, Murroe, Nenagh, Newcastle West, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Newport, Newtown, Patrickswell, Quin, Rathkeale, Roscrea, Shannon, Sixmilebridge, Tarbert, Templemore, Thurles, Tipperary Town, Toomvara, Tulla, Tullamore, County Clare, North Tipperary, South Tipperary, County Kerry, County Cork, Munster. 

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