This module will guide your exploration and increase your general knowledge about integrating play therapy in the home-based setting. The objective of this module is to accomplish the following:
- Recognize the importance of play therapy and who play therapy can impact
- Explore the theoretical foundations of play therapy
- Define the five major techniques of play therapy
- Apply strategies and techniques to play therapy in home-based environment
Adults often suppress their ability to play thus negatively impacting the interactions in their child's world. For adults, play is often educational. Think about how often the adult asks a child what color a toy is rather than simply engaging with the child in play. Play therapy can provide an opportunity for the parent and therapist to be truly present with a child because they participate with the child in the problem solving process. A parent and the therapist will also learn about self through the play therapy process. One cannot participate in the play therapy process without being impacted.
Play therapy provides an opportunity for self-discovery and self-growth. Moustakas (1981 in Landreth, 1991) states:
- "The challenge of therapy is to serve, to wait with interest and concern for the child to activate the will and to choose to act, to dare to pursue what is present in the way of interest and desire. This calls for unusual patience and an unshakable belief in the child's capacity to find the way, to come to terms with the restraints and tensions of living, a belief in the child's powers to listen inwardly and to make choices that are self-enhancing"(p. 60).
The play therapist believes in the inherent ability of the child to move the process in the direction it needs to go. The therapist believes in the child's ability to resolve issues when provided with the means to do so, in a safe and secure environment.