School-Based Filial Therapy with a Seven-Year-Old Girl in a R ...

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  • Title: School-Based Filial Therapy with a Seven-Year-Old Girl in a Rural Australian Primary School: Addressing Emotional and Behavioral Barriers to Meaningful Engagement in Education
  • Author(s): Jane Cooper, Louise Oliaro
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Learner
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities
  • Keywords: Filial Therapy, School-Based Intervention, Childhood Mental Illness, Early Intervention
  • Volume: 26
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2327-0128 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2627 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-0128/CGP/v26i01/37-45
  • Citation: Cooper, Jane, and Louise Oliaro. 2019. "School-Based Filial Therapy with a Seven-Year-Old Girl in a Rural Australian Primary School: Addressing Emotional and Behavioral Barriers to Meaningful Engagement in Education." The International Journal of Learner Diversity and Identities 26 (1): 37-45. doi:10.18848/2327-0128/CGP/v26i01/37-45.
  • Extent: 9 pages

Abstract

Children who experience emotion and behavior problems commonly encounter significant associated impediments to positive engagement in education, in particular in the areas of attendance, learning, and social engagement. In rural and remote locations, specialist children’s mental health services are sparse. In addition, multiple cultural, financial, and familial barriers complicate the already difficult circumstances involved in accessing therapy. School-Based Filial Therapy is an intervention designed to address many of the needs specific to children residing in rural and remote Australian communities who are not accessing early mental health intervention for multifarious reasons. The intervention program draws on concepts from Bowen’s family systems theory and is based on the foundations and principles of two empirically supported play therapy models; Child Centered Play Therapy and Filial Therapy. School-Based Filial Therapy is implemented as an intervention on school grounds, during school hours and with school personnel fulfilling the role of play facilitator and therapeutic resource. Over the past year the model has slowly been introduced into a number of Australian rural and remote primary schools. Many children have participated in the program as a tier 3 school-based intervention. This paper focuses on one such case, where the child’s engagement in the intervention was associated with improvements in school attendance and a reduction in mental health symptoms.