Sexual Curiosity Theme in Play Therapy

Jan 18, 2024

In this episode of the Play Therapy Podcast, I discuss the theme of “sexual curiosity” in child-centered play therapy. This is the last of the sexualized play themes. This episode focuses on the curiosity children may have regarding body parts and sexual exploration during play. Sexual curiosity is a normal and developmentally appropriate behavior for children, especially those aged five and younger. It involves children exploring and investigating the bodies of dolls or figurines, often by undressing them. Understanding this behavior is essential for therapists, as it can help distinguish between normal development and potential issues that may require further exploration. Finally, giving credit where it’s due, Helen Benedict’s important work is the source for the themes discussed throughout this podcast series. I want to credit and acknowledge the original source of the information. You can find her work by Googling “Helen Benedict play therapy themes” and some references should result, including a very comprehensive article on Scribd.

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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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