The Use of Play in Therapy

playDr Fiona Zandt has written the below article on the importance of play in therapy. Dr Fiona Zandt and Dr Suzanne Barrett, authors of Creative Ways to Help Children Manage BIG Feelings, are clinical psychologists who currently work in successful private practices in Melbourne. They each have over 15 years’ experience working with children and families. 

Connecting families with wool – Why play is so important when working therapeutically with children

A therapist recently described using an activity from our book that involves using wool to connect family members to make visible the ways in which their feelings and actions impact upon each other. Following the session the child who was being brought to therapy articulated some of what she had learnt to her Mum. She said that she now knew that if she died, everyone would be really sad, and that not everything was her fault. Her comments reflected some key messages that the therapist wanted to convey – namely that she was part of a family who cared about her and were all being affected by the difficulties they were experiencing. Blame was removed and the responsibility for change was shared, laying the foundation for the therapist to work effectively with both the parents and the child.

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Why do two-year-olds behave differently to three and four-year-olds?

Early Years BehaviourLiz Williams, author of Positive Behaviour Management in Early Years Settings, explains how young children will only be able to behave in a way that is appropriate to their own age and stage of development. Observing that the whole early years period is a time in which children develop rapidly, she describes how the stage of development between the ages of two and three is especially fast.

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Informed by the author’s wealth of practical experience, Liz’s book is an essential guide to promoting positive behaviour in early years settings. It explains why children may act the way they do, describes the key factors in promoting appropriate behaviour and provides a range of easy to use techniques for improving behaviour and supporting development.

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