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Parent-Child Attachment Play (PCAP)

Father and Son Playing

What is PCAP

Parent-Child Attachment Play (PCAP), developed by Debi Maskell-Graham, is a gentle play-based approach which aims to improve the attachment quality of the parent-child relationship using child-centred non-directive play.  The approach is set within research into what we now know about how secure attachment is operationalised in the earliest relationship.

Research has identified a key parental capacity or skill associated with secure attachment in children.  Parents/carers can be helped to develop this skill through PCAP.  This skill is the parent’s ability to think about their child, empathise with their feelings and respond sensitively, consistently and predictably to them.  


Quality Time

What happens

Laura works directly with the child’s parent/carer for approximately 12 weeks. Three key skills which facilitate the development of a secure attachment underpin the session content (reflective functioning, child-led play and containment/boundaries). The skills are demonstrated by Laura and then practiced by the parent. When the parent is ready, they will put the skills into practice at home and start a one to one play time with their child, once a week for 15 – 30 minutes using a small selection of toys. Laura will continue to meet with the parent/carer for several weeks and they will explore how the skills could be applied within their daily family life. Sessions can be in person or held virtually. 

Quality Time
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