Saturday, January 16, 2010
Recently I read a book is called play therapy written by Virginia M. Axline.
“YOU MAY PLAY WITH THESE TOYS IN ANYWAY YOU LIKE FOR AN HOUR”
Every child is an unique. He is humble and proud, courageous and afraid, dominant and submissive, curious and satisfied, eager and indifferent. He loves and hates, fights and makes peace is delightfully happy and despairingly sad. Many children are often referred for play therapy by parents, matrons, teachers, physicians, or other agencies. The aggressive, disturbing, noisy child is the one most readily identified as the child with problems because he is continually creating new problems, not only for himself but also for those who are in close contact with him. There are many children they need help but they live on the outer edge of human relationships because they are quiet and they are left alone. There are the nervous children who bite their nails, have night mares wet the bed, have tics, and refuse to eat. These behaviours indicate their inner turmoil anxiety.
The play therapy gives an opportunity to work through their problems, to learn to know themselves, to accept themselves as they are, and to grow more mature through the therapy experience. Our every experience, attitude and thought will constantly changing in relation to the interplay of psychological and environmental forces upon each and every individual. That’s why our pensiveness of things will get change day by day.
The therapy hour is not just another recreation hour, or social hour, or school experience. It is the child’s hour. The therapist is not a playmate. She is not a teacher. She is not a substitute mother. She is a very unique person in the eyes of the child.
Therapist has to be alertness, sensitivity and an ever present appreciation of what the child is doing and saying. The therapist must be permissive and accepting at all times. She has to treat them with honesty and sincerity and she never laughs at them. The successful teacher or therapist may be young or old, beautiful or homely, smartly or indifferently dressed, but the attitude toward the child is one of the respect and acceptance.Therapist has to be very kindheartedness, great patience and sense of humour that relaxed the child, and encourages him to share his inner world with therapist.
Play is his natural medium for self-expression, the child is given the opportunity to play out his accumulated feelings of tension, frustration, insecurity, aggression, fear, bewilderment, confusion. The play-therapy room is good growing ground. In the security of this room where the child is the most important person, where he is in command of the situation and of himself, where no one tells him what do to, no one criticizes what he does, no one nags, or suggests, or goads him on, or pries into his private world, he suddenly feels that here he can unfold his wings; he can look squarely at himself, for he is accepted completely; he can test out his ideas; he can express himself fully; for this is his world.
A show of too much affection, too much concern, can easily smother the therapy and create new problems for the child. Another important thing is that while therapy session whatever notes and records made should be kept confidential. The therapist has to recognize the feelings the child is expressing and reflecting those feelings back to him in such a manner that he gains insight into his behaviour. Therapist should not be in hurry and do not expect sudden 100% result. Try to establish good rapport with them.
The play room is very special for every child. The room should be sound-proofed if at all possible. There should be a sink in the room with running hot and cold water. The windows should be protected by gratings or screens. The walls floors should be protected with a material that is easily cleaned and that will withstand clay, paint, water, and mallet attack. If the room can be wired for the phonographic recordings and provided with a one-way screen so that observations can be made without child’s being aware of the observer, so much the better, but this equipment should be used only for the furtherance of research and as teaching aid for student therapists.
Play materials which have been used with varying degrees of success include; nursing bottle; a doll family; doll house with furniture; toy soldiers and army equipment; toy animals; playhouse materials, including table, chairs, cot, doll bed, stove, tin dishes, pans, spoons, doll clothes, clothespins, and clothes basket; a large rag doll; puppets; a puppets; a puppet screen, crayons, clay, finger paints, sand, water, toy guns, wooden mallet, paper dolls, little cars, airplanes, a table, an easel, an enamel-top table for finger, small broom, mop, rags, drawing paper, finger-painting paper, old newspapers, inexpensive cutting paper, pictures of people, houses, animals, and other objects; and empty berry baskets to smash.
All playthings should be simple in construction and easy to handle so that the child will not be frustrated by equipment which he cannot manipulate. Moreover, they should be durably constructed, designed to withstand strenuous handling in the playroom. The doll house should be made of light-weight wood. The doll house should have mother, father, brother, and sister, baby, and grandparent dolls to equip the child with all possible family symbols.
The needs will be change from one child to another child. Which need makes a child to feel happy the same need can make other child to feel uncomfortable? According to child’s needs we have to be flexible, adaptable and sensitive towards them?
In this book therapist faced so many strange movements with children. Even single time also I never found angriness in her words. Many children approached her that “we want to live with you”, but she refused in such a way that they did not feel hurt by her words. Many times they wanted to take toys from play room. She explained them why can’t they take toys to their home. I liked her way of responding for each situation.
In this book I liked one particular situation very well. She was with Ernest, who came for therapist classes. Ernest had a mother but she used to stay far away from child because of some personal reasons. One day in Ernest school, they had a parent teacher meeting. Every child came with their mothers and they started to ask Ernest “where is your mother?” Ernest showed therapist and told her friends, she is my mother. That means therapist had very good rapport with every child. She respected each and every child even their parents also. She used to write letters to their parents according to children words.
By reading this book I learnt many things such as how to handle children especially misunderstood children and how to respond to others feelings.