Rescue Play Theme In Play Therapy

Nov 28, 2023

In this week’s episode, I delved into rescue play, which happens to be the fourth of the five safety play themes. Rescue play is often intertwined with the danger theme, providing a powerful means for children to address and resolve negative scenarios. When a child engages in rescue play, it’s a significant indicator of healing and growth. By taking on the role of the problem solver, they rewrite their narrative, creating different endings and scenarios, thus gaining the tools to handle real-life situations. Sometimes, the child may feel they’re in danger or distress, seeking rescue within their play, or they may signify the therapist as their rescuer, showcasing the impact of your support in their healing journey. However, if a rescue isn’t completed in their play, it might indicate feelings of hopelessness or the lack of internal capacity to resolve issues. Nevertheless, this signals the need for more time and skill development. It’s a remarkable insight into how children process and overcome challenges through play.

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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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