A DIR®/FloorTime Approach to Therapy
Based on the work of Stanley Greenspan, MD, and Serena Weider, Ph.D.
This DIR® (Developmental, Individualized, Relationship-Based model)/FloorTime approach to intervention puts a premium the child’s natural emotions and interests which are considered to be essential for fostering the learning interactions that inspire a child to engage and pursue their surround and others with motivation and initiative. This is found to facilitate and enable the different parts of the mind/brain to work together and build neural connections and successively attain higher levels of social, emotional, and intellectual capacities. An emphasis is put on self-regulation and co-regulatory supports to enable the child to find a safe, calm but alert state of arousal for attentive interactions. This often involves a concomitant sensory integrative approach as many individuals with developmentally based issues are attempting to cope with a sensory processing disorder and nervous system that is either over-reactive (often to touch and sound), under-reactive (clumsy with poor body awareness, inattentive, and often sensory seeking), or a mixture of both.
A FloorTime approach to interpersonal interactions is integral to the services offered in this practice, and a key component to the home programs we design. In helping to remediate and work towards normalization of developmental issues, affect and dynamic relationships become the fuel that drives the motivation behind any learning process. Learning is propelled naturally and spontaneously, sparking a love and excitement of being related to others while investigating the world around them, thereby meeting and mastering ever greater challenges. An inherent intrigue for problem solving and exploration is able to expand. Self-initiated learning with self-confidence increases while the stress of in anxiety, avoidance, withdrawal and self-absorption, fear and other emotional obstacles decrease.
Each individual is assessed for their particular developmental functional skills and needs. A person’s ability to engage, respond, initiate, and work towards the ability to sustain smooth spontaneous reciprocal back ‘n forth dialoguing, all types of communication (gestural, facial and other use of body language, verbal, tonal, etc.) and enjoy that this enables shared social problem solving. These interpersonal interactions within the context of play/work build and lead towards an expansion of ideas, creative thinking, logical and abstract ideation, but with affect and relationship always at the helm. This mix is considered essential for the development of spontaneous and empathic relationships as well as the mastery of academic skills.
ICDL (Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning)