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British Association of Play Therapists

Abstracts Vol. 2

British Journal of Play Therapy Vol. 2 (2006)

pp 4-13
The use of Sandplay with Children
Diana Jansen
Psychotherapist & Sandtray Therapist
In this paper I have given a brief description of Sandplay as it was first conceived by the Swiss psychotherapist, Dora Kalff. Sandplay is used with wonderful results with both adults and children. I attempt to convey how the unconscious can, without interference from the conscious mind, lead towards what Jung referred to as ‘the self healing of the psyche’ within a sandplay process. This process is enabled within the therapeutic relationship and what Kalff referred to as ‘the free and protected space’ of the sand tray itself. I have tried to illustrate this process by describing the therapy of a three-and-a-half year old boy who created fourteen sand trays. Through his ‘play’ in the sand he was able to mourn for the father he had lost and to reconnect with his own internal father. The process led from a state of fragmentation to one of integration, and this coincided with a leap in his development in his outer life.

pp 14-23
Theraplay ®: An Introduction
David L Myrow
Buffalo, New York, USA
This article introduces Theraplay®, a therapeutic model that is becoming increasingly known for its focus on promoting parent-child attachment. First developed in America, Theraplay is currently being used in at least eleven countries and in a wide variety of settings including schools, mental health clinics, private practice speech and language therapy agencies and residential treatment facilities. Theraplay differs from Child Centred or Non-Directive approaches in that it is therapist-directed, includes physical contact, involves parents in the process whenever possible and is intended to be fun. This brief overview reviews the history of Theraplay, the principles that guide it, its theoretical foundation in Object Relations and Attachment Theory (now supported by recent findings in neurobiology) and notes recent scientific research that strongly supports its efficacy. Illustrations are given from clinical practice.
Keywords: Theraplay, play therapy, attachment, research, depression in children, attention deficit, selective mutism, oppositional defiance, autistic spectrum, divorce.

pp 24-36
Playing in the field of research: Creating a bespoke methodology to investigate play therapy practice
Chris Daniel-McKeigue
Manchester Metropolitan University, UK and Liverpool Hope University
There is limited research available within the field of play therapy to draw upon when formulating a research investigation. The author suggests that it is advisable to consult the development of research design within the wider field of the arts therapies. It is acknowledged that quantitative methods have earned respect as credible approaches to research within this genre. Alternatively it is recognised that a qualitative approach may be efficacious for certain investigations within the creative arts therapies. The particular benefits of working within a qualitative paradigm are explored: the affinity with the therapeutic medium; the utilisation of the therapist’s own skills; the opportunity to use a combination of approaches within the design; the concept of bricolage; the ability to triangulate data and the more complex concept of crystallisation. The application of these principles is applied to the author’s own investigation which uses a heuristic framework to discover more about the nature of change within play therapy. In the spirit of heuristic research the author invites readers to respond to the ideas within this paper and would welcome correspondence via letter or email.
Keywords: arts therapies, heuristic, methodology, play therapy, qualitative research, researcher-practitioner, art-based, arts-based.

pp 37-45
Play Therapy with Child Survivor of the Tsunami: A Case Study
Leong Min See
Bureau on Learning Difficulties, Penang, Malaysia
This presentation aims to provide a case example of how play therapy can provide an effective therapeutic intervention for trauma experienced by child survivors of natural disasters. It illustrates how play therapy can assist psychological recovery. It describes the author’s work with a nine-year-old girl who experienced the tsunami of 2004 and saw her sister swept away.
Keywords: Non-directive play therapy, tsunami, trauma

pp 46-54
The Ethics of Researching Children in Non-Directive Play Therapy
Angie Naylor
School of Education, Liverpool John Moores University
This paper brings together various theoretical standpoints to highlight the key issues in research with children engaged in therapy and the complexities this can involve. Children’s rights, power dynamics and their impact on the research process can be understood within discourses of childhood. Trust between the child and therapist/researcher is a further dynamic as well as issues of informed consent, gatekeepers, confidentiality and the possible impact on the intervention. Whilst research into the process of Non-directive Play therapy is important, this needs to be understood and acknowledged within a multi-faceted child-centred framework.
Keywords: Non-directive play therapy, ethics, children.

pp 55-62
The Five Story Self Structure: A new therapeutic method on the Communicube
John Casson, PhD
Dramatherapist (HPC reg), Psychodrama Psychotherapist (UKCP reg), Supervisor, Senior Trainer
This paper introduces the concept of the Communicube and the Communiwell, two structures that have been developed as communication tools for the 21st century. It presents a therapeutic method of using these tools, the Five Story Self Structure. Information is provided on the origin, design and theory. In order to demonstrate the flexibility of the tool brief examples of practice with adults are given followed by more detailed accounts of work conducted by dramatherapists with school age children in Britain and France.