Fire Play Theme In Play Therapy

Aug 15, 2023

Today, we’re entering the realm of control and safety themes, marking a transition from our previous categories. Specifically, we’re exploring the intriguing concept of fire play. Children engage in fire play with remarkable diversity, expressing it through a spectrum of scenarios. Whether it’s something catching ablaze, flames engulfing, or even extinguishing a fire, this theme is unmistakably evident.

Fire play often unveils deeper emotions within children. In instances where intense rage simmers, children might use fire as a symbolic channel for their anger, essentially allowing them to obliterate what they find infuriating. This dynamic reveals a profound representation of their emotions, and at times, children who fear their own powerful feelings might turn to fire play.

The theme is not limited to anger; fire play can be a tool for addressing avoidance. Children may burn objects that evoke discomfort or unease, effectively erasing them from their world. Interestingly, fire play can also intertwine with other themes, such as heroism or protection, as fire becomes a conduit for bringing broader narratives to life.

Remember, these themes of control and safety underpin the tapestry of play therapy. By understanding the core motivations behind a child’s choice of fire play, we gain insights into their emotional landscape. Join me next week as we explore the themes of burying and drowning, and continue this enriching journey together.

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  • 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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