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The Challenges And Benefits Of Play Therapy

1838 words - 7 pages

Play is a way for children to learn about their environment and how their interactions occur within, though play children develop resilience. However, some children may experience stressful occurrences during their existence and therefore, play can be often be restricted. Therefore, the play worker’s role in facilitating a child’s play is a crucial measure towards the child's development. Practitioners that work with children experience the skilfulness to prompt or even contribute to a child’s play, which is a principle constituent in therapeutic alliance. However, for those children mentioned above, what happens when play becomes nonexistent or deprived, then how do these children engage in play? This has been a continuous argument amongst practitioners as well as researchers in the field of child development, and consequently, this essay will “evaluate some of the benefits and challenges of developing play/leisure activities” of therapeutic play, along with identifying how play serves its purpose in regards to children’s holistic and play development. Using a therapeutic partnership, this essay will accentuate how the therapist can facilitate the play of the children of all ages through the means of a child centred-play therapy / directive play therapy.

For all living beings, play is an instinctive biological disposition, which helps to facilitate and enrich children’s overall development. In addition to play facilitating and enriching lives, many theorists as well as researchers have shown play to form a fundamental facet of children’s wellbeing, suggesting that providing the opportunity to play enables children with the ability to work out problems through solutions along with enhancing creativeness.

Furthermore, promoting pleasure as well as physical activity, play forms the holistically development in a child’s existence, or to put it in another way using Brown (2003) abbreviation, know as SPICE, play represents the ‘social interaction’; ‘physical activity’; ‘intellectual stimulation’; creative achievement and emotional stability, (with the addition of “compound flexibility”) of children’s development. Compound flexibility is the idea that a child’s psychological development occurs using the relationship between his/her environment with the adaptability of the child himself. Thus the flexibility of surroundings and his/her adaptableness can provide children the means to explore; experiment and investigate (Brown, 2003, pp. 53-4).

On the contrary, the absence of social interaction and physical activity through the means of play can inhibit children’s overall development, and without the consistencies of play children suffer a “chronic lack of sensory interaction with the world, [which leads to] a form of sensory deprivation” (Hughes, 2001, p.217). Research conducted by Webb and Brown (2003) into the effects of neglected children ranging from between the ages of one to ten years, whilst living in a Romanian paediatric hospital has...

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