Nondirective Play Therapy

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"The philosophy of nondirective play therapy is that children are able to direct their own process. Nondirect play therapists believe that as human beings, children, although on a less developed process than adults, can lead their own emotional processing. Of the two primary types, this is the one which places the therapist in the least directive role with children as they play. The idea is for the therapist to enter the child"s world as seen through their language of play. Over sessions, the therapist is looking for themes from the child"s world to emerge which express insights into the child"s experiences, perceptions, emotions, and interpretations of the world as they see it.
In the safe, free, and protected space of the play therapy room, (or the child"s home) children are able to work through deeper emotional fears, scars, wounds, and experiences. Within the play therapy room, children are given the permission to express themselves in whatever way is comfortable to them. Since they are not required to answer questions, they have more freedom to avoid feeling ashamed or scared due to reliving situations they originally did not feel they had any power over when they were experiencing them. One of the reasons why play therapy is believed to work so well is because children under 11 lack the developed ability of abstract thinking (Goodyear-Brown, P., 2010); rather, children rely on the world of play to express themselves and process their own emotions and perceptions with the therapist present."

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