Counsl 617 - Counselling Children and Adolescents
Play Therapy and the therapeutic benefits
Play and the therapeutic benefits
Play is one of the tools that children use to learn about the world and how to interact with their surroundings. It shapes their perception and world view. It is an important part of a child’s development and learning. Through play children learn the concept of safety and its limitations. Play should be a trial and error process where the child learns from their own mistakes. Finally play is important for the development of a child’s social and behavioral skills. Play Therapy (PT). refers to structured and theoretically based approaches to child therapy. It helps a therapist develop a trusting relationship with a child in the safety of the child’s environment. Playing is used as a means of learning of the difficulties that the child faces and used as a therapeutic method to help them cope with their situation. (Lambert et al., 2005)
Freud (1909) considered play a means by which children can bring their unconscious thoughts to their consciousness. It was also considered an instrument that helps build a positive and trusting relationship with the therapist. Over the years of research and clinical studies the various therapeutic outcomes of PT have been assessed. Therapists as able to use PT as a tool to re create stressful situations. This helps release the distressing emotions that a child experiences as a result of the stressful event. When the stressful event is re created in the child’s play environment they are able to develop their own coping strategies to alleviate the distress they experience and in some cases resolve the initial issues that were associated with the event. (p. 240)
Knell (1993) developed Cognitive Behavioral PT. CBPT is a combination of therapeutic PT and cognitive behavioral strategies. It helps the child develop...
References: Freud, S. (1955). Analysis of a phobia in a five year old boy. London: Hogarth Press. (Original
work published in 1909)
Knell, S. (1993). Cognitive-behavioral play therapy. Northvale, NH: Jason Aronson.
Lambert, S., LeBlanc, M., Mullen, J., Ray, D., Baggerly, J., White, J., & White, D. (2005).
Learning more about those who play in session: The national play therapy in counseling
practices project. Journal of Counseling and Development, 85(1), 42-45.
Landreth, G. L. (2002). Play therapy: The art of the relationship. New York, NY: Brunner
Taft, J. (1933). The dynamics of therapy in a controlled relationship. New York: Macmillan.
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