Reciprocal Play Therapy
The Mifne therapeutic approach is based on the attachment theory. It aims to reinforce the child’s innate abilities, awareness of these abilities and self-confidence. The individual sessions with the child at the Mifne Center are based on Reciprocal Play Therapy – RPT. The RPT method was developed at the Mifne Center to help the baby to discover a sense of the self and the pleasure of human contact, by expanding engagement into a mutual play.
Engaging the Toddler
The goal of RPT is to engage the child by easing him/her into the experience of social interaction as a source of pleasure, to enable the growth of trust, and to stimulate the toddler’s motivation to engage in social interaction. RPT is conducted in 3 stages: Attractive Play (AP), Sensory Play (SP), and Cognitive Play (CP).
RPT requires the reduction of distracting stimuli, since these can divert the toddler’s attention from pleasurable experiences.
During the therapeutic process, the toddler is free to proceed at his/her own pace. Contrary to some behavioral and learning interventions, the toddler is not expected to behave in a specific manner.
- The toddler doesn’t have to follow any instructions and is not trained to repeat any activity.
- The toddler may join the therapist on their own initiative or be encouraged to join the play: the therapist either plays in the near vicinity, giving the message: ‘you can play with me’, or just by offering a toy, pretending that this is done unintentionally, in the course of the play.
Gradually, a bond is expected to develop between the child and therapist. The child is in intensive one-on-one RPT sessions for up to ten hours daily, including weekends. The number of hours is determined by the toddler’s level of development. The more the toddler is detached, the more hours they will spend in the playroom.
RPT requires the reduction of distracting stimuli,
since these can divert the toddler’s attention from pleasurable experiences.