Danger Play Theme In Play Therapy

Nov 22, 2023

In this episode of the Play Therapy Podcast, we explore the concept of danger as a safety play theme in the playroom. So we will dive into the nuances of this theme, clarifying that despite its name, danger play falls under the safety category. I talk about how children manifest danger play, whether through dangerous characters, fantastical figures, risky locations, dangerous animals, or characters in jeopardy. I also explain the potential meanings behind danger play, highlighting how it can reflect a child’s perception of the world as unsafe or stem from past experiences of legitimate danger. Additionally, I touch on how danger play can sometimes serve as a subtle plea for help. Understanding these themes is crucial as danger play often evolves or runs concurrently with other play themes, providing insight into a child’s inner world.

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References:

  • Cochran, N., Nordling, W., & Cochran, J. (2010). Child-Centered Play Therapy (1st ed.). Wiley.
  • VanFleet, R., Sywulak, A. E., & Sniscak, C. C. (2010). Child-centered play therapy. Guilford Press.
  • Landreth, G. L. (2002). Play therapy: The art of the relationship (2nd ed.). Brunner-Routledge.
  • Bratton, S. C., Landreth, G. L., Kellam, T., & Blackard, S. R. (2006). Child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) treatment manual: A 10-session filial therapy model for training parents. Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Benedict, Helen. Themes in Play Therapy. Used with permission to Heartland Play Therapy Institute.
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