Parent Child Attachment Play

Parent-Child Attachment Play (PCAP) was developed by Director of Charity Big Toes Little Toes, Debi Maskell-Graham. PCAP is an innovative and empowering early help attachment programme for parents with children aged 3–15+.

This is a gentle, play-based approach aimed at improving the attachment quality of the parent-child relationship using attachment mechanisms and child-oriented play with parents/carers and their children.

This highly-regarded training programme for parents is set within attachment research. It can be delivered with groups, in one-to-ones and through a home visiting model. When the parent-child relationship is working, helpful child behaviour generally follows, and family life becomes more manageable.

The programme uses evidence-based practice by monitoring parents’ knowledge of attachment and their ability to engage in attachment-based play with their child before and after the programme.

This programme is suitable for parents who want to develop existing bonds with their child, or parents and carers of children with attachment difficulties. The programme can be a standalone one for parents who want to develop relationships with their child or can be paired with specialist parent training and behaviour assessment and support for children with more complex needs.

All PCAP practitioners working with The Behaviour Clinic are qualified play therapists who have undertaken additional PCAP training.

Some PCAP organisations promote the PCAP process for parents only, and children are not involved in sessions. At The Behaviour Clinic, children are included in some sessions so that parents can practise and receive feedback on the skills learnt in the programme while with their child. There is a substantial bank of research which shows that new skills are most effectively learnt when there is the opportunity to model skilled individuals, practise techniques, and receive feedback.

PCAP can be delivered to individuals in their home or to a group of up to six parents/carers in a play therapy setting. Costs are outlined below for both options.