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Lecture 2

CYC 302 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Play Therapy, Art Therapy, Sensory System

Child and Youth Care
Course Code
CYC 302
Gurjeet Dhillon

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Chapter 1: Understanding Play as Therapy
------------= In lecture
Therapeutic Play
Divided into three categories
o Play for pleasure
o Play for awareness
o Play for healing psychological wounds
Play is a universal method of attaining balance in ones life.
o Creates equilibrium for children and adults between the demands of
living and those of being
1. Play For Fun
Alter a child’s mood, reconfigure a social situation, and reward a child.
Can be divided into three categories
o Games of :
Physical skill
Outcome is decided by who has the highest motor
Outcome is decided by who has the highest cognitive
Winning is determined by luck
2. Play To Learn
Structured and unstructured activities can be used to teach a new skill, to
develop self-awareness, or to provide a forum for experimentation
o Enhances social development by allowing the child to practice
social skills in an imaginary contract as a rehearsal for social life.
o Benefits emotional development through its interactive qualities
and its expressive nature.
o Intellectual development can be enhances by providing children
with a context in which to explore, exercise, and express
3. Play To Heal
Play therapy uses toys, props, and structured conversations to allow
children to deal with and express grief.
Sensory exercises allow a traumatized child to begin to repair the damage
done to the sensory system.
Art, drama, and music can assist children to make sense out of tragic
o The play intervention in these situations in often structured and
specific to the child’s circumstances and life situation.
o Have well-defined goals and usually require a specific expertise
such as formal play therapy or art therapy training.
Play Therapy
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o Free-play experience where the child acts out fears, anxieties, and
negative experiences through play.
Training therapist watches and records the child’s play to
gain insight into the child’s problems
Play, games, and activities are therapeutic tools that provide the
facilitator with a variety of opportunities to enhance the child’s natural
healing abilities.
Directed and Self-Directed Play
Therapeutic Play can be directed and controlled by facilitators and
participants, or can contain little direction, or require no influence from
o Form of play but are less of free expression of the Self and more of an
expression of the Self within the confines of rules.
o Conduct and rules in these play situations are more clearly defines
and play for formalized.
o When children have reached middle-childhood, they are ready for the
structure of games.
Play for the child in middle or late childhood is almost always
associated with rules and organizations of thought and
Some children, have not developed the abilities to
function in highly structured games and activities and
better served developmentally when they are provided
with less structure
o Spontaneous or free-play opportunities can be provided that require
little or no facilitation on the part of the adult.
Hugh states free-play must meet three criteria
Child has freedom of choice
Play activity is enjoyable
Play is focused on process not outcome
o Free-play in children appears to develop in stages
Child plays alone and does not include others in play
Child plays alongside other children but does involve
them in the play experience
Play where the child includes others in play, but there is
no effort made to organize or cooperate with these
Play that involves organized activities and games.
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