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Chapter 17 Play Therapy

Chapter 17 Play Therapy

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Chapter 17 Play Therapy

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  1. Chapter 17Play Therapy You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. Plato © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  2. Play Therapy • Play therapy is usually used with children from preschool ages to late elementary school. It makes use of various forms of play to provide a safe and happy environment for children to demonstrate feelings and learn to deal with emotional and circumstantial challenges • Play Therapy facilitates the development of self-control, self-responsibility, and appropriate self-esteem.  © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  3. Early play therapists • Hermine Hug-Hellmuth • Anna Freud • Melanie Klein, and  • Margaret Lowenfield © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  4. Defining Play Therapy • Natural medium of child’s self-expression. • Pleasurable and intrinsically motivating. • Play has a make-believe quality and is flexible. Freedom of choice. • Evokes fantasies and unconscious feelings. • Offers familiar tools. • Safe place to act out feelings, to gain understanding, and to change. © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  5. Goals of play therapy • Boost self-acceptance, self-confidence, and self-reliance • Facilitate learning about self and others • Explore and express feelings • Encourage ability to make good decisions • Arrange opportunities to practice control and responsibility • Explore alternative views of problems and relationships • Learn and practice problem-solving and relationship skills • Increase feeling vocabulary and emotional concepts  © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  6. Advantages of Play • Helps counselors establish rapport with children • Understand children • The way they interact and • Their relationships; • Also allows the teaching of social skills © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  7. Schaefer’s Therapeutic Powers of Play • Overcoming Resistance • Communication • Competence • Creative Thinking • Catharsis • Abreaction • Role Play • Fantasy • Metaphoric Teaching • Attachment Formation • Relationship Enhancement • Positive Emotion • Mastering Developmental Fears • Game Play © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  8. Themes in play therapy • Children often play out recurring game or theme indicative of developmental struggle or trauma • Nurturance and failed nurturance themes • Death themes • Sorting • Separation themes • Aggressive themes © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  9. Themes in play therapy • Identifying and understanding the typical play themes of young children enable the family counselor to: • Assess children’s emotional needs, family dynamics as seen through the eyes of the child, • Unconscious conflicts that may be influencing the child’s current behaviors © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  10. Break-out groups • http://www.a4pt.org/download.cfm?ID=28210 © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  11. Personal Qualities of Therapist • Appreciation of children, treating them with a respectful, kind manner. • A sense of humor and willingness to laugh at self. • Playful and fun-loving attitude. • Self-confidence and self-reliance. • Openness and honesty. • Accepting. © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  12. Guidelines • Ask only relevant questions., • Outline the play therapy session and relevant information • Focus on specific problems and help develop short-term goals for counseling. • Take an active, directive play therapy role. • Find brief, concrete problem resolutions. © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  13. Children appropriate for play therapy have the following • the ability to tolerate/build/use a relationship with an adult • the ability to tolerate/accept a protective environment • the capacity to learn new ways of coping • the potential to gain new insight and the motivation to try • the attention span and cognitive organization to participate © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  14. Play Therapy Approaches Group Play Therapy • Children ages 2 – 12 • Encouragement, connection and reality-checking functions present in groups • Experience helps them learn to function well, to explore their actions, to develop tolerance and to find joy in working with others • Beneficial for children with social skills deficits. • And for children with similar problems, issues, experiences. © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  15. Empirical Support • Meta-analysis of play therapy • Reviews 94 studies from 1940 – 2000 • Support that play therapy is effective for a variety of problems, populations, in numerous settings, and with a multitude of clinical orientations • Common elements of effective include parental involvement and between 35-45 sessions © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  16. Play Therapy with Specific Problems • School Adjustment • PMHP focuses on identifying elementary children before they have problems • Children Witnessing Domestic Violence • Children Facing Persistent Illness • Autistic Children • Children Experiencing PTSD © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  17. Personal Qualities of Therapist • Willingness to use play and metaphors as communication tools. • Flexibility and ability to deal with ambiguity. • Comfort with children and experience interacting with them. • Ability to set limits and maintain personal boundaries. • Self-aware. (Kottman, 2001) © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  18. Considerations Therapist • Create safe environment in which child can express self freely. • Trust and respect the child and attend to child’s feelings. • Be interested in the child and be warm, caring, and accepting. © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  19. Considerations Appropriate Clients • Ability to tolerate/build/use a relationship with an adult. • Ability to tolerate/accept a protective environment. • Capacity to learn new ways of coping. • Potential to gain new insight and the motivation to try. • Attention span and cognitive organization to participate. © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  20. Play Stages • Relationship • Release • Recreation • Re-experiencing • Resolving © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  21. Criteria for Assessing Progress • Child comes to session looking more hopeful and relaxed. • Child appears to have increased confidence. • Child can summarize what has happened and what has been learned. • Child’s interactions with parents appear more relaxed. • Play patterns, interactions, and/or body language has changed. • Child openly raises a problem or concern. © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  22. Play material choices based on: • Facilitating the relationship • Encouraging child’s expression • Helping counselor gain insight into child’s world • Providing child chance to test reality • Providing child acceptable way to express unacceptable thoughts and feeling © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  23. Categories of Play Media Play media are the materials and props used in a session: • Real-life toys: dolls, furniture, telephone, money, animals, nurse kit, household items, etc. • Acting-out toys and aggressive-release toys: handcuffs, balls, guns, toy soldiers, inflatable punching toy, etc. • Creative-expression and emotional release toys: colored chalk, sand and sandbox, crayons, clay, pipe cleaners, hats, costumes, paint, puppets, etc. © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  24. Basic Skills of Play Therapy • Tracking: describe what the child is doing • Restating content: paraphrasing what the child has said • Reflecting feelings: deepen the relationship and help child understand emotions, being with others and build an affective vocabulary © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  25. Basic Skills of Play Therapy • Returning responsibility to the child: builds self-confidence and self-responsibility • Using the child’s metaphor: maintain the child’s story without interpretation of meaning • Setting limits: keeps the child safe, increases sense of self-control and enhances responsibility © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  26. Selected Strategies • Art • Magic art • Color emotive brain • Clay • Puppets • Sand • Make a world technique • Stages of chaos, struggle and resolution © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning

  27. Puppets • Puppets act out situations that children fear • Helps children overcome fear • Use puppets to communicate thoughts or trauma • Puppets can be used as tool of socialization • Storytelling • Simulate real life scenarios © 2011 Brooks/Cole, A Division of Cengage Learning