Play is one of the most creative opportunities open to a child, and is becoming of increasing interest to therapists and others in the caring professions. This book examines how children develop skills in play as a way of being creative, and how they can use play as a therapeutic process by mirroring their own life experiences in their games.
Ann Cattanach outlines the theoretical basis and provides guidelines for work in this area. She examines the role of the therapist, and the different methods involved in therapy, such as creative free play and task-based play. Also covered is the use of play therapy in different work settings, such as the education service, the social services, and hospitals.
She discusses the needs of the therapist, including the importance of supervision. The book contains case studies and ideas for working with emotionally disturbed children, abused children, and children facing death. Also included are notes and stories for the refreshment of the therapist.
...an excellent, stimulating read with a manageable style and numerous sensitive insights into the world of play for the child and how it can become a therapeutic process where children "play out" their perception of their own experiences...uses clear, straightforward language to discuss the theoretical basis for play therapy... The book does not make great claims as to its powers of healing, but it seems to offer a means towards constructively working through traumatic experiences for children. -- Nursery World Cattanach packs a large amount of theory into this easy-to-read volume, together with practical guidelines on how to be a safe companion for the child's journey. -- Professional Social Work This is an excellent introduction to an activity whose relevance is increasingly recognised and used, not least in the communication of good health practices. -- Institute of Health Education This is a short and accessible work on a subject of considerable interest to many professionals. Cattanach uses the language of imagination and myth, rather than the more mundane style we have come to expect in works about therapy and teaching. However, she uses it with authority as an international expert. -- Child Language Teaching and Therapy