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Play Therapy

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Meagan McBride

on 28 January 2015

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Transcript of Play Therapy

The Obligatory Stuff
A Quick Survey
By a show of hands who can tell me what it feels like to be scared?
"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." - Plato
Current Leaders in the field
Dr. Garry Landreth and Dr. Charles Schaefer are probably the most influential therapists of the last 20 years and their work has led to acceptance of play therapy.
In 1988, Dr. Garry Landreth started the Center for Play Therapy (CPT). It has grown to become the world's largest play therapy training program.
Dr. Charles Schaefer has written over 50 books and journals.
Play Therapy *can* be effective with anyone that still
Some Quick History
Play Therapy (presented by Meagan McBride)
Who am I and why did they let me stand up here?

1- Attendees will be able to summarize what play therapy is.
2- Attendees will be able to differentiate between play & play therapy.
3- Attendees will gain the knowledge to apply basic play therapy techniques in session.

Also known as what is keeping you from perusing Pinterest and swearing at Athena during your lunch hour...
Play has been recognized as an important part of life, as far back as Plato (429-37BC) 'You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation'
Anna Freud (1925) used play to understand her child patients to facilitate a positive attachment to the therapist
Carl Rogers (1940's) creates 'Client Centered Therapy'
Virginia Axline (1950's) developed the principles of Play therapy and the non-directive approach
This makes it a great intervention for our little friends!!
Children who have experienced Physical, Emotional and sexual abuse, physical and emotional neglect.
Have experienced a single trauma
Have experienced multiple traumas
Have witnessed domestic abuse
Have parents with physical and or mental illnesses
Have parents with physical and or mental disabilities or learning difficulties
Have had one or more bereavements and for other significant losses.
Children with, or who have parents that have, chronic or terminal illnesses.
Let's get to it....
How does it look?
Where do you do it?
What kinds of toys?
How is it different than playing?
What can I use?
Don't touch
here, just let me
come here
I'll do it
Children are evaluated by others and love is dependent on behavior.
Symbol of self as lovable becomes dependent on behavior (external).
Need to establish internal value system (internal locus of control).

Internalized message is
“I can’t do this”
“I have to be ____ to be okay/accepted”

In the Play Therapy Room we
provide unconditional positive regard
We teach the child that they are okay
and don’t need to change.

Putting into words what you observe.
Tracking responses communicates the therapists involvement and helps the child feel that the therapist is participating with the child.
Tracking responses convey interest in the child and what the child is doing.
"looks like you have a plan"
"you have decided to play with that"
"you are putting that right there"
Empathetic Tracking
Many times children are not aware of their feelings.
Therapist sees and identifies the feelings.
Shows you understand
Trust your observations
You feel angry about that
You are excited
You are mad
You are tired
You are really proud
You are frustrated
Do not label toys
Labeling anchors the child to reality and reality, and interferes with creative, fantasy play.--It limits play--
A boat can fly, an alligator can be a pet, and a monster can be a parent.
It puts the therapist in the lead (director) of the play.
Do not label items until the child does.
"You picked THAT up"
"You want to play with "that"
"In here, it can be whatever you want it to be"
Do NOT ask questions (I know, it hurts!)
Why did you pee on your baby brother?
What happened to make you mad?
What should you have done?

Asking questions puts us in the lead.
Asking questions means the child has cognitive insight and contradicts the rational of play therapy.
When the child hits the doll, IT IS NOT ABOUT ASKING HOW THEY FEEL/WHY THEY DID IT...
"WOW, you really hit that hard!"
Return the responsibility to the child
They WILL ask you what it is, how to do it, what it is, where it goes, to get it, fix it, open it.
Thus, play therapy is NON directive.
Thus, play therapy is NON directive.
Full transcript