Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MA in Child Development


There is growing interest in examining how attachment-based therapeutic interventions in early childhood can strengthen the bond between parent and child and prevent the transmission of intergenerational trauma. In recent decades, advances in attachment research have contributed to a greater understanding of how important the parent-child relationship is for a child’s well-being and subsequent years in life. This thesis explores the value of play in children’s therapy, specifically its use in dyadic play therapy as a therapeutic technique to strengthen the bond between parent and child. Two case studies from an attachment-based intervention are presented, and focus is given to the implicit nonverbal cues of communication expressed during the parent- child interaction in dyadic play. The value of play between the dyad is assessed from an attachment-based perspective and the correlation between the progression of play in relation to the quality of the parent-child attachment is explored. The therapeutic space of the case studies present play with two primary functions: play exposes the underlying relational dynamics of the parent-child relationship and it serves as the vehicle in which the parent and child can work together to create a shared meaning of their experience.

Included in

Psychology Commons