Play therapy is a form of therapy where children can’t act out their fantasies and express their feelings or experiences and are simply encouraged to do so through play, abetted by a therapist's interpretations.
When I was 18, I was involved in a car accident that almost took my life, this caused me to fall into depressive state while I attended college. The depression was due to not knowing who I was as a person without football. Before the accident every aspect of my life revolved around the sport, and I was highly scouted to come the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and play football. It was this whirlwind of emotions constantly plaguing my mind by being immersed in a place that reminded me of something that I could no longer experience. With the assistance of a counselor at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, I was able to begin healing. This was a turning point in my life, and it was these sessions that sparked my interest in the field of psychology.
If play is a child's language, then toys can be taken as the words. With play therapy the child can resolve their difficulties and concerns utilizing the toys that they pick, exposing their inner thoughts and discussions. With play the child has the ability to check out numerous circumstances and habits in a supportive environment. Genuine favorable regard and approval urges the child to feel safe adequate to be able to discover
Children often face various mental health issues when they are growing up. These issues include anxiety, trauma, depression and now even autistic children. Treating young children of these conditions has been a great challenge over time. Therapy can help give children the opportunity to express their feelings through play. According to the Association for Play Therapy (2002), play therapy is a "systematic use of a theoretical model to establish an interpersonal process in which trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development." Although various studies have been conducted in regards to play research, there is no link that has been given between play therapy and the success of an individual later in life.
Often, elementary school counselors are reluctant to suggest play therapy and have perceived barriers to its efficacy. This study surveyed 259 members of the American School Counselor Association about those barriers to implementing play therapy, and the potential solutions that could be used to overcome any reluctance. The typical barriers are logical: training, administration, time, resources, and space. It is not that the counselors as a whole do not believe in play therapy, it is that they cannot always find appropriate resources to implement the tool. The study raises the awareness that in the contemporary school in which budgets and resources are extremely tight, more training, educating faculty and administrators, and even using alternative or personal funds to purchase play therapy materials are often necessary to help students.
According to a leading expert in Play Therapy, Landreth (2014) believes firmly that the focus of therapy needs to be on the child not on the client, and children are the best teachers for the
FOCUS OF PRESENT SESSION: The family checked-in as being “okay” and their week was “good.” The family presented in a euthymic mood and it was congruent with affect. During this session, the client and her mother was asked to express to each other, their feeling and emotions of issues within the home as well as Denae’s behavior. The mother and youth decided on an issue, such as Denae being suspended from school. Each participant switched roles to obtain the other person perspective and feelings they were experiencing. Denae, whom role play her mother brought up issues regarding the child’s behavior. She reported that she understood why her parents punished her, which makes her more aware of what is expected of her. The youth’s mother, whom
When a child has experienced a crisis or trauma, the play therapist should consider intensive play therapy in which the child is scheduled for play therapy sessions two or three times a week for the first two weeks in order to speed up the therapeutic process (Landreth, 2012).
I choose to film my play therapy session with my six year old niece, Jazmine. The first session with Jazmine was nondirective or child centered play therapy. “Non-directive play therapy makes no effort to control or change the child and is based on the theory that the child’s behavior is at all times caused by a drive for complete self-realization.” (Landreth, 2012) Therefore, I allowed Jazmine to direct the play. While she played with her various dolls and toys, I verbally tracked her play, body movements, facial and vocal expressions. This allowed Jazmine to know that she had my undivided attention. Although I was not comfortable with tracking her movements, because this is not a normal action during our play, she did not seem to be affected by the tracking. I did feel more involved with Jazmine because I had to be fully present with her in order to properly track her play. In addition, she seemed to like the positive attention and it fueled her play.
My topic of inquiry I have chosen to research for this report is; is play therapy an effective treatment for Children with Post traumatic stress disorder. I was drawn to this topic as I have had an interest in working with Children who have experienced Trauma and have a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder under the criteria of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV). I worked on a personal level with many children who have experienced traumatic events such as natural disasters and have seen the impact that these traumas have had on them and I am curious to know if play therapy is an effective way of working with children who have Post-traumatic stress disorder. I wanted to explore this more as children find it difficult to articulate their thoughts and feelings and I want to know if play therapy is an effective way of helping them to express their thoughts and feelings. I also wanted to find out why Play Therapy is not really recognised in New Zealand and why there is such a limited amount of Play Therapists in New Zealand. I became interested in this topic when I took a child to play therapy and seen the impact that these sessions had on their development and behaviour and this drew me to want to find out why this treatment is not used more widely with children as play is a natural aspect of their development.
Play is a way for children to learn about their environment and how interaction occurs within. It is through trial and error that children are able to create options; follow their own interests and show “independence in thought and actions” using their knowledge and understanding (Moyles, 2005, p.3). Children develop resilience though play. However for a number of children can experience stressful occurrences during their lives and play can often be restricted. Therefore the play worker’s role in supporting children’s play is a crucial measure towards children's development. For those that work with children require the dexterity to prompt and contribute to children’s play, which can be seen as a principle aspect of therapeutic alliance.
Building resilience Art and play therapy interventions have many positive impacts on one’s self-concept and general well-being. The effects of these interventions can empower underachieving children from low-income families when they face various stressors in childhood and also later in life. The examples above demonstrate some of the positive impacts that art and play processes have on children in a short time frame. In the long run, these interventions act as preventive measures through which children acquire effective communication methods that 13 enhance their problem-solving abilities, and learn how to deal with developmental crises
Solid preparation is essential for an effective one hour counseling session. The counselor should review all pertinent information and have a flexible structure for each counseling session. This includes: the purpose of the counseling session, past sessions, recent observations about the client, identification of current issues, main points of discussion, and the development of a plan of action. The counselor should focus on specific and objective topics during the session and maintain a plan of action with clear, obtainable goals.
In the selected case study, The mode of therapeutic intervention will take the Gestalt Play Therapy focus. The interaction between Jacob and I will be an open dialogue with straightforward caring, warmth, acceptance, and self-responsibility that specifically focuses on inclusion, with me fully present in the experience of Jacob, where I will not judge, analyze, or interpret what is observed. My presence refers to expressing observations, preferences, feelings, personal experience, and thoughts to Jacob. Commitment to dialogue will present the opportunity to encourage a sense of connection between Jacob and me. Our dialogue will be active and nonverbal or verbal. It can be any modality that expresses and moves
The primary aim of the gestalt play therapist is to help children become aware of their unique process. The focus is on the experience of the process, what children do and how they do it, which they are, what they feel and what they want. Acceptance of this leads to the realization that they can personally make choices and experiment with new behavior. Gestalt play therapy focuses on children’s direct experience in the here and now. The therapist’s goal is to facilitate the client’s awareness of their process. (Corey, 2000)