Why Do Play Therapy?
Play therapy can be used to 1) address
specific problems and also to 2) help facilitate positive developmental
progress ('getting development back on track"). It is best seen as
attending to both of theses areas, not just one or the other.
- The child uses play and activity as
authentic modes of expression.
- We can understand (usually) such play as
symbolic communication, reflecting
- The child’s specific history (of
actual events, of expectations within relationships and developmental
- Which vary within a developmental
sequence. (Variable cognitive styles.)
- Most play therapists assume play
communication include unconscious elements (those the child can not
simply talk out), and
- Within therapy key conflicts or events
will be enacted in play on a repetitive basis.
- Such re-enactment can be used to aid
understanding, mastery and developmental progress.
- Play therapy emphasizes the child’s
autonomous viewpoint, not those of parents or collaterals.
- Thus it is empowering of the child as an
agent of change, effective action.
- Changes in play therapy are assumed to
generalize to other areas of life.
- But - play therapy is becoming less
"popular" in an culture emphasizing symptomatic improvement
back to Play Therapy
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© James Drisko, PhD
last updated 2/21/01