Course Description

*This selection is for the Final Exam only. Access to the book, Filial Therapy: Strengthening Parent-Child Relationships Through Play (Third Edition), is required to complete the exam. If you already have access to the book, click the "Buy" button above to continue. To purchase the complete Online Course, which includes a PDF of the book, click here.

This continuing education program presents the theoretical basis, core values, and essential features of Filial Therapy. Current research on Filial Therapy is discussed and the basic skills involved in Filial Therapy and the Filial Therapy training process are presented. Alternate formats for Filial Therapy and applications of Filial Therapy to treatment of specialized populations are also presented.

4 CE credits/hours, 40 questions

Target Audience

Psychologists | School Psychologists | Marriage & Family Therapists | Mental Health Counselors | Social Workers

Learning Level


Learning Objectives

  • Explain the theoretical basis, core values, and essential features of Filial Therapy.

  • Discuss the research on Filial Therapy.

  • Practice the basic skills of Filial Therapy and the Filial Therapy training process.

  • Discuss alternative formats for Filial Therapy.

  • Present applications of Filial Therapy to specialized populations.

Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC

Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC, is founder and President of the Family Enhancement & Play Therapy Center in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, an organization specializing in the training and supervision of child, family, and play therapy professionals.  A licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania, Dr. VanFleet is also a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor and a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.  She is a Past President/Board Chair of the Association for Play Therapy. She specializes in strengthening family relationships, and has subspecialties in chronic medical illness, disaster mental health, child/family trauma and attachment, and animal-assisted play therapy.  She is well-known internationally as a speaker, teacher, and author.  Dr. VanFleet has 40 years of clinical, supervisory, and leadership experience in community mental health, health care, education, and independent practice settings.  She has trained and supervised thousands of clinicians, and her materials have been used by professionals and families in over 60 countries.VanFleet has been honored with numerous regional and national awards: Distinguished Contributions to the Science and Profession of Psychology Award (Pennsylvania Psychological Association), Play Therapy Professional Education and Training Award (Association for Play Therapy), Guerney Award for Outstanding Contributions to Practice and Training in Filial Therapy (Association for Filial and Relationship Enhancement Methods), among others.  She has also received several major national awards for her writing.  She has authored dozens of books, manuals, chapters, and articles, including A Parent's Handbook of Filial Therapy, Casebook of Filial Therapy (with Louise Guerney), Child-Centered Play Therapy (with Andrea Sywulak and Cynthia Sniscak), Play Therapy With Kids & Canines, and The Human Half of Dog Training.  She is featured on four DVD workshops, including Filial Play Therapy (American Psychological Association).Dr. VanFleet is the founder of the Playful Pooch Program, through which she has been involved in the development, practice, ethics, research, and training in Animal Assisted Play Therapy.  In addition to her professional work with children, families, and dogs, she is an accomplished pianist and an award winning nature photographer specializing in Alaskan wildlife.  She can be contacted through her website:

Course curriculum

  1. 1
    • Statement of Understanding (downloadable/printable)

  2. 2
    • "Filial Therapy: Strengthening Parent-Child Relationships Through Play (Third Edition)" - Final Exam Questions (downloadable/printable)

    • Final Exam

  3. 3
    • Evaluation Questionnaire