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The idea of play therapy

"We should never be more completely alive, more completely ourselves or even more deeply engrossed in anything than whenever we are playing". -Charles Schaefer

Play is the primary way that children learn about the world, understand how different things work, express their thoughts and emotions, develop their physical skills, develop their mental skills, and develop effective interpersonal skills and bonds. As children increase, their use of language becomes more complex, but throughout child years, they usually point out much more of themselves in their play. We can understand children better if we understand their play. Instead of engaging in verbal communication, we often find out about their thoughts, emotions, motivations, and challenges by viewing children play. Children better speak their thoughts and emotions through play than they do through verbal communication. As the child performs, the therapist commences to recognize themes and patterns or ways of using the materials that are essential to the child. Over time, the clinician helps the child get started to make meaning from the play.

The Connection for Play Remedy (APT) identifies play remedy as "the organized use of any theoretical model to determine an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists use the restorative forces of play to help clients prevent or solve psychosocial challenges and achieve best progress and development" (www. a4pt. org). Although the idea of play remedy was presented over 80 years ago, this therapeutic way has only started to see major progress and development in the last twenty years and is still considered to be relatively new in modern therapy practices. Within days gone by 10 years, play therapy is becoming more named an effective involvement to reduce challenging manners associated with sociable, mental, behavioral, and learning complications in individuals, children and children. While researching this process, I found it increasingly difficult to find information in accordance with the proven medical practice of play therapy as almost all of the information regarding play therapy still focuses extensively on trustworthiness and studies to show that it is even a powerful practice.

Because play is so familiar to children, this can be a area of comfort that allows counselors to plan clients in a nonthreatening environment. When children play, they feel safe. They don't really react to simply chatting and hearing an adult dialogue. Play Therapists use play to help children communicate feelings about many issues. Children can use play to handle feelings about reduction and divorce. Children who've been victims of mistreatment or have observed a trauma can also gain. A good child who is having trouble with peer relations or carry out in college can benefit from play. Children often point out their feelings behaviorally and this can be misdiagnosed as ADD/ADHD leading to these children being medicated unnecessarily. Ramifications of trauma, loss, and divorce can mimic the symptoms of ADD/ADHD. Rather than using medication as the first option of treatment, children and their therapists can utilize play therapy to focus on those feelings. The primary goal of play remedy is to remove behavioral and emotional complications that prohibit a kid to function normally, especially in regards to superior communication and understanding between the child and his parents, family, and peers. Through the use of play remedy techniques, the therapist can allow a kid or adult to become more alert to their thoughts and eliminate any negative action that may be a direct consequence of their emotional and behavioral issues. Less evident goals of play remedy include better verbal expression, ability for self-observation, advanced impulse control, more adaptive means of coping with nervousness and disappointment, and advanced capacity to trust and to relate with others. Although play remedy has proved very effective for children with various varieties of disorders, it isn't as ideal for certain types disorders or ailments, such as children with severe degree of autism and schizophrenia (Landreth, 2002). These two types of children live so specifically in their own world that they cut off interaction with the outside world completely. Because they lack the power and/or determination to connect to people and objects, I believe that play therapy may not be the best restorative methodology for these children.

Play Therapy consists of the utilization of role performing, playthings, blocks, dolls, puppets, and game titles to help the child discover, identify, and verbalize thoughts and to communicate what has occurred to them and exactly how they experience these occasions in their lives. Often, a kid allows a doll or puppet to state things that the kid will not feel they can be free to inform to anyone. Skilled therapists also use sketching and fine art to allow thoughts to flow and be indicated. The therapist observes the way the child uses play materials and identifies themes or habits to comprehend the child's problems. Play remedy is specially effective with children who cannot, or do not want to talk about their problems. Through a combination of talk and play the child has an opportunity to better understand and control their conflicts, feelings, and tendencies. Sand play remedy is one form of play remedy which allows increased exploration of profound emotional issues. Sand play therapy is ideal for children and parents and allows them to reach a deeper information and reconciliation of a range of issues in their lives such as internal conflicts that express as stress and anxiety and depressive disorder, as well as penetrating the depths of personality to experience the self immediately. Through a safe and supportive process, clients place smaller figurines in a little sand box expressing confusing feelings and inner encounters. This creates a visual representation of the unconscious and unveils concerns that are inaccessible any way. As materials within the unconscious emerge aesthetically and symbolically, it is integrated into a person's sense of self applied and can be turned on to elicit behavioral change. Sand play remedy can be an expressive and creative way of working which will not count on traditional "have a discussion" therapy.

Two major methods of play remedy are Non-directive (Child-Centered) play therapy and Directive (Cognitive Behavioral Model) play therapy. A skilled specialist will adopt a variety of both approaches corresponding to each individual child and their circumstances. In non-directive play remedy, the therapist remains supportive, but non-intrusive, and responsibility and course are remaining to the kid, which emphasizes empowering your client, self-awareness, decision-making, and popularity of the client's self applied. In directive play remedy, the therapist aquires responsibility for assistance and interpretation of the remedy by taking an active role in the play and structuring the time for evaluation, diagnostic, and treatment purposes. One key matter of non-directive techniques is the fact that young children might not exactly necessarily contain the cognitive skills and emotional capacity to correct and master traumatic experiences on their own. Upon researching the info that I found on different ways to use play therapy to therapeutic lessons, Personally, i found directive play remedy to be the most efficient. I like the thought of having more control over periods and getting the information I have to successfully identify problems and issues for the kid. Though both routines use similar ways of play and creative manifestation for the child, in my thoughts and opinions directive therapy seems to be the best way for my very own personal counseling style.

One issue that arises most often in regards to the limitations of play therapy is hugging and/or physical contact. In any therapeutic relationship, it's important for the client to understand that the therapist cares. Therapists accomplish this in traditional "talk" therapy by attentive listening, reflecting, and empathy with little to no touch involved. This is quite different when working with children in a play environment. Children can be effortlessly very impulsive, and may hug the therapist in response to a confident or negative feeling. It's important for the therapist to be aware that hugging and touch are used in many different types of relationships and also have a number of meaning. An ethical response to this issue is to avoid hugging all clients, especially child clients (McGuire & McGuire, 2001). On the other hand, if a therapist is hugged by a child, left over stiff may send a poor message to your client (Landreth, 1999). Although I found the literature on honest issues in play remedy to be missing, the information I did find was illuminating. It really caused me to think more in-depth about the countless ethical situations that are specific to working with children and to play therapy. This implies being aware of potential moral issues before they come up and planning beforehand on how I would react to those situations. I liked the direction that the books appears to be heading, which is providing play therapists with an increase of effective and general guidelines for moral problem resolving.

The practice of play remedy requires extensive specialised education, training, and experience. A play therapist is a qualified (or certified) mental doctor who has earned a Master's or Doctorate degree in a mental health field with considerable general specialized medical experience and guidance (www. a4pt. org). Regrettably, regarding Dr. Garry Landreth, who's one of the major key contributors to the field of play remedy, many therapists practicing play therapy do not have the special training needed with not even half of the therapists currently practicing play therapy having considered a graduate course in the field. Children are a particular client population, and simply having a degree in guidance or another similar field will not qualify a person to provide therapy for them (Corey, Corey, & Callanan, 2007).

When Dr. Landreth (2001) layed out what play remedy can do for children he also told us what regions of development are often a struggle for children and parents as well. Children start their lives with an amazing skill to play that much too often gets lost in the misunderstanding of the mature world. Many parents still cannot lay claim responsibility for his or her actions or to agree to themselves for who they are as people. Play, whether with video games, puppets, drums, clay, sports activities, motion, drawing, drama, dolls, sand, or other things that can be obtained, invites a cascade of results. There are unlimited possibilities for the utilization of play remedy with individuals (Schaefer, 2003). Play remedy for people can also permit the bonding with others to create healthy relationships for folks and also require experience only with serious dysfunctional interactions. When adults enter into play therapy, they are able to gain access to their internal child. Frequently, psychological repression and poor feelings are developed in child years and adults figure out how to disregard surface exhibition of the mental traumas. However, with adult play remedy the person gets the space to understand and work out those thoughts plus they can reach a resolution and closure, allowing them to become more pleased, healthier people.

In the limited amount of research that I found on the topic of play therapy, it seems as though there's a lack of consistency among the definitions and its execution. Some articles and texts clearly described play remedy; others appeared to distort a traditional definition to match their goal. I honestly do not know if there truly is a clean form or explanation of play remedy. I did so however, through my research, find that the various techniques of play therapy used seemed to be quite able to helping children to cope with a wide array of issues.

In final result, I assume that play therapy is a great, impressive, valid, and effective method of helping clients to express feelings they have unconsciously repressed or prevented. It's rather a very healthy wall socket and can be handy at times when traditional chat therapy simply doesn't work. Dr. Landreth (2002) expresses that "play is a child's language and playthings are his/her words. "

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