Sexual Talk Theme in Play Therapy

Jan 16, 2024

In this episode of the Play Therapy Podcast, I take on the theme of “sexual talk” in child-centered play therapy. I emphasize the importance of recognizing this theme and understanding its implications for both the child and the therapist. Sexual talk includes discussions about body parts, genitals, and even cuss words, which can often be seen as inappropriate or taboo in other settings. I explain that when a child engages in sexual talk during therapy, they may be testing boundaries, seeking reactions, or trying to understand why certain words or topics are considered upsetting. By responding neutrally and non-reactively, therapists can create a safe space for the child to explore these topics and gain insights into their thoughts and feelings.

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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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