The Art Of Not Answering: Remaining Child-Centered When Children Ask Questions In The Playroom

Oct 12, 2023

In this episode of the Play Therapy Podcast, I address a common concern from our listeners: how to handle children’s questions during play sessions while maintaining a child-centered approach. Three listeners share their experiences and questions on this matter. Lily from chilly Minnesota, Moshe from New York, and Rachel from the UK all face the challenge of kids asking numerous questions during play. The child-centered model emphasizes not providing direct answers, but this can sometimes be challenging. I discuss strategies like generalizing or enlarging the question and returning responsibility to the child through reflective responses. Understanding why a child is asking questions, whether for connection, forming a relationship, soothing anxiety, or seeking power, helps us tailor our responses appropriately. Thank you, Lily, Moshe, Rachel, and all our listeners for engaging in this crucial discussion. Together, we’re improving our child-centered play therapy practice and making a difference in children’s lives. Feel free to email me your questions at [email protected]. I appreciate your support and dedication to this incredible field.

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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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