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ISSN : 2233-6710(Print)
ISSN : 2384-2121(Online)
Journal of Asia Pacific Counseling Vol.4 No.1 pp.15-30

A Qualitative Exploration of Filial Therapy for Enhancing Teacher-Student Relationships

Angela F.Y. Siu1

1The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Received October 26, 2013 Revision received January 30, 2014 Accepted February 13, 2014


Few studies have examined the effectiveness of filial therapy for enhancing teacher-student relationships, although there is some provisional evidence indicating promising results. The present study adopted a qualitative approach in which Miles and Huberman’s (1994) inductive data analysis model was applied to examine the effectiveness of a play therapy program conducted by teachers. Five school teachers participated in the study. Each teacher was asked to identify a target student to work with for at least 12 sessions using child-centered play therapy skills. The findings indicated a positive change in the teachers’ perceptions of the target students’ behavior and an improvement in the relationship between each teacher-student dyad. Several themes emerged from the teachers’ reports of their relationships with the target students. The practical implications of using “play” as an intervention in the school setting to enhance teacher-student relationships are discussed. The limitations of the study are also addressed.

Corresponding Author
Angela F.Y. Siu, Department of Educational Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong,
Shatin, NT, Hong Kong SAR, The People's Republic of China.