Sexualized Activity Theme In Play Therapy

Jan 2, 2024

In this episode, we dive into the challenging topic of sexualized play themes in child-centered play therapy. I discuss how children may act out sexual activities using miniatures, dolls, or figures during play sessions. I emphasize the need for careful interpretation and understanding of potential meanings. Not all instances of sexualized play indicate abuse or trauma, as children may be mimicking what they’ve seen without comprehension. Therapists should observe and assess the situation over multiple sessions before jumping to conclusions or taking action, and use clinical judgment and patience. I also share my personal challenges with this theme.

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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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