Exploratory Theme in Play Therapy

Dec 12, 2023

In this episode of the Play Therapy Podcast, we begin the final category of themes—exploration and mastery. It’s been incredible to witness your enthusiasm for understanding and applying these themes in your work with children and families. Today, we delve into the exploratory theme, observing how children investigate toys in the playroom, asking questions, and exploring the unknown. This exploration is common in early sessions, as the playroom and toys are new to the child. But it can also surface later, serving as an emotional break when the child needs space from intense play. Recognizing and documenting these themes aid in understanding a child’s progress and emotional shifts.

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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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