Engaging Dads in the Play Therapy Process

Working with dads in the playroom isn’t always the same as working with moms. It takes understanding the psychology of men, learning how to communicate in a way that is meaningful, and proving that you are a partner who doesn’t know “better”, you just know “different.”


1:05 Lisa provides an overview of the Lessons from the Playroom series

2:20 Lisa introduces guest speaker, Dave Garrison,  a High-Performance Therapist and Personal Change Coach with over twenty years of experience.

3:37 Dave discusses his kids and work experience

4:00 What’s the first thing that comes up in play therapy for dads?

4:33 Self-doubt in dads

5:30 Shame in men and the fear of judgment

6:15 What can therapists do to support dads who are anxious?

7:05 The importance of acknowledging strength, courage, and sacrifice in dads

7:55 The idea of appreciation and respect

9:00 How do we explain the play therapy process to dads?

9:45 The trends between moms and dads

10:40 The importance of goal-oriented language when connecting with dads

12:40 The social stigma of a child needing help

13:45 Dads want the best for their kids

14:00 The connection between male therapists and dads

14:30 “I just know different”

15:30 Pitfalls for therapists to avoid

17:15 Empowering the dad and making yourself his partner in a common goal

19:30 How can we give dads permission to heal?

20:20 Don’t let dads off the hook!

21:50 The importance of the involvement of dads

24:00 Setting expectations for dads

25:37 Speaking in metaphors dads understand

27:46 Taking the time to outline goals and be mindful

28:22 How can we normalize questions?

29:05 Having dads on your team is a mighty force

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