17 Jan Play Therapy
I’m beginning a new quest in the pediatric therapy arena, PLAY THERAPY! The fundamental idea is that a small child, whom does not possess the communication ability to express, verbally, how they feel; will express themselves through symbolic objects in an anthropomorphic manner that reflects the child’s emotion (For example, when showing anger; a child may reflect that anger by aggressive behavior. The reason or causal factors for that anger may be identified by the action or manner in which they use an object (i.e. using a roaring dinosaur doll to destroy other obejects. The dinosaur looks like what the child feels). A child centered play therapy approach, developed by Dr. Gary Landreth at UNT, emphasizes the therapist not imposing any guidance or probing techniques to gain information from the child, rather a child centered play therapist allows the child the explore and interact with the objects in a free to explore, unstructured ways. This allows an opportunity for the presence of whatever immediate strong emotion a child feels to unfold. Rather than a therapist guessing how a child feels, he or she gets to observe it first hand in the play room.