Issue 3
Monday, 27 March 2017
Charles Darwin University
E-news
International expert Rochelle Ritzi led the Australia-first play therapy workshop in Darwin. Pictured with workshop participant Johanna Van-Grinsven and six-year-old Marie Rose Naivalu
International expert Rochelle Ritzi led the Australia-first play therapy workshop in Darwin. Pictured with workshop participant Johanna Van-Grinsven and six-year-old Marie Rose Naivalu

Therapeutic parenting comes to Australia

By Katie Weiss

Child sector workers have learned techniques to help parents improve their skills in dealing with child behaviour and anxiety, in an Australia-first workshop at Charles Darwin University.

International play therapy specialist Dr Rochelle Ritzi said filial therapy aimed to improve parenting practices, teach children impulse control and address child behavioural concerns by helping parents to understand a child’s perspective.

Dr Ritzi is from the University of North Texas and led the Filial Therapy and Therapeutic Parenting Workshop for students and frontline professionals at Casuarina campus this month.

“Children with healthier attachments to their parents grow up to be healthier adults,” Dr Ritzi said.

“There is not one parent who wouldn’t benefit from learning these skills.”

CDU Play therapy course coordinator Carmen Cubillo said students and frontline professionals in Darwin who worked with vulnerable families had benefited from the workshop.

“Australia is so new to this space that professionals who want to learn these techniques must leave the country to do so,” Ms Cubillo said.

“Rather than wait for parents to be referred to us, we thought we would upskill the people who are already working in the sector with families.”