The Story So Far: Play Therapy Narratives

The Story So Far: Play Therapy Narratives

The Story So Far: Play Therapy Narratives

The Story So Far: Play Therapy Narratives

Synopsis

This manual describes the work of nine play therapists through the narratives of children, and adults, whose stories emerge during their play therapy sessions. Life events they relate include fostering and long-term illness.

Excerpt

Ann Cattanach

This book describes the work of nine play therapists through the narratives of children and adults who come to play or play therapy to tell their stories. First and foremost they describe therapeutic relationships and within the relationships, the power of narratives and stories as a means of communication for those people whose voices are not often heard.

To me, the major message, which shines through all the chapters, is the sensitivity of the relationships between therapists and clients. In the busy world there seems little time to sit and listen to what children, young people and adults have to say about their feelings, emotions and their understanding of the world. It is also the quality of the listening and the importance that the therapist places on what children and young people have to say which creates trust and belief in the relationship. It is about people talking, empathic understanding, sharing creativity – not power and control centred on the therapist. Perhaps the ability to listen and accept other perspectives, other worlds, could change the way we all live with each other.

The stories and narratives in this book concern complex life events like change of family, abuse, illness, death so are multilayered with many meanings.

The encounters between clients and therapist are co-constructions. The child plays, and tells stories about the play and the therapist listens, perhaps asks questions to clarify meaning, and contextualises the story around the social circumstances which exist for that child in their world.

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