Intensive Theraplay® Interventions (Intensives) are designed to help families who live at a distance from The Theraplay Institute in Evanston (TTI) and cannot come in for regularly scheduled weekly sessions. Intensives can be scheduled over a period of three to five days (we are not set up to have people come for longer periods for Intensive treatment). In special cases it is possible to schedule the Intensive over a long weekend or holiday.
The goal of an Intensive intervention is to assess the nature of the problem and provide treatment that will set the family on a path that can lead to a better outcome in the future. Because we do not expect such a short-term intervention to fully accomplish the desired change, we prefer to have a home therapist attend along with the family so that he or she can carry on the work once the family has returned home. Although it would be ideal for the home therapist to have, or obtain, Theraplay training, it is not essential. Being involved in the Intensive and receiving the feed-back along with the parents can make it possible for the therapist to help the family stay on track. If the family does not have a current therapist, we will discuss how they can get the kind of help and support they might need to carry on the work. Parents are actively involved in the sessions and taught techniques that they can use at home to help their child. Two TTI therapists will be involved in all sessions. Intensives consist of at least two Theraplay sessions per day plus parent conference sessions. On the first day and the last day there will be more sessions.
Intensives are appropriate for children ranging in age from two through young adolescents. While the Theraplay approach can be very helpful for parents to use during the early stages of a new adoption, we do not recommend coming for an Intensive until the child has been in his new home for at least six months. Before six months everything is so new that a child can be overwhelmed by making a trip to another city and meeting new people. Because we do not have an in-patient or therapeutic parenting program available, we do not accept children who cannot be kept safe while they are with us.
Intensives are held at our Evanston headquarters. The family will need to make their own arrangements for housing during the intensive. There are two hotels within walking distance. If other children must accompany the parents, the family will need to make arrangements for the care of these children during the sessions, since both parents will be involved in all the Theraplay sessions. Children under the age of 12 are not allowed to wait in our reception area unattended.
- Initial Telephone Interview to determine the appropriateness of having this particular child come for an Intensive.
- The Intensive will be scheduled to meet the time constraints of the family and the therapists.
- A behavior checklist and a questionnaire about the caretakers' backgrounds will be sent to the family. They should be filled out and sent to TTI.
- Information about the child's past history and records of previous treatment should be sent to TTI.