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Special Advantages of Play Therapy

Special Advantages of Play Therapy

Special Advantages of Play Therapy

Resources
Microsoft Word icon Attributes and Evaluation of Discussion Contributions.
PDF icon Professional Communications and Writing Guide.

For your initial post in this discussion, consider some commonly diagnosed disabilities in children and describe how play therapy might be beneficial. In your consideration, include concerns related to peer issues, self-esteem, and acceptance.
Image of Capella University logo
Play Therapy Resource Portal
Transcript iconTranscript

Readings

Use the Capella University Library to complete the following:
•Read Neufeld and Wolfberg’s 2010 chapter, “From Novice to Expert: Guiding Children on the Autism Spectrum in Integrated Play Groups,” pages 277–299 in Schaefer (editor), Play Therapy for Preschool Children.

NBC Archives on Demand
•Click ADHD: Following Children into Adulthood to watch a video from NBC Learn. ?This video is an NBC news report first broadcast on August 23, 2005.
?Running time: 3:45.
Multimedia
•Click Play Therapy for Children With Disabilities to listen to the audio. ?This multimedia piece is an interview with Brian Bethel.

•Click Play Therapy Resource Portal to view ?Additional resources on children dealing with educational and physical disabilities are included in the section “Physical Illness and Disabilities.”

•Click Child Case Study Backgrounds to view the interactive.
•Click Play Therapy Resource Portal to view the interactive.
Play Therapy for Children with Disabilities

Presented by Dr. Hilda Glazer
Dr. Hilda Glazer:
Brian, welcome to Capella’s course 5252 Applications in Play Therapy. As you know this course for counselors and therapists focuses on the ways in which Play Therapy may be used as an intervention in a variety of special situations.
Brian Bethel:
I appreciate the opportunities. Thank you!
Dr. Hilda Glazer:
You are welcome! In this unit we have been working on the special difficulties that children with disabilities may experience and how those disabilities might impact the use of Play Therapy as an intervention. What is your experience working with children with disabilities?
Brian Bethel:
Well, I have a multitude of experience. I was previously Director of Counseling Services for a Community Mental Health Centre. And based upon my own graduate work in rehabilitation counseling, I began working with not only children, but also adults with disability and with my interest in Play Therapy began to modify and adapt techniques in working with children through a Community Mental Health setting.

Currently I serve as a counselor for a Child Advocacy Centre and we see an overwhelming number of children with disabilities that are referred due to both physical abuse and sexual abuse, and the current research validates that children with disabilities are up to ten times more vulnerable for physical and sexual abuse than children without disabilities.
Dr. Hilda Glazer:
And this is the area focused for your dissertation?
Brian Bethel:
Correct. I am currently completing my dissertation in doctoral studies, counselor education, and supervision, and my focus is Play Therapy for children with disabilities and specifically what the Play Therapy experience is like for children with disabilities.
Dr. Hilda Glazer:
Thank you. So, what are some of the therapeutic challenges that are common in working with children with disabilities?
Brian Bethel:
Well, children with disabilities confront a number of issues that become therapeutic obstacles. Most people would look at mobility and physical functioning, but there is a lot of research that also ties in some of the psychological options.

Society’s stigma of individuals with disabilities has been shown to be a very profound effect that children are impacted greatly from the stereotypes and misconceptions that children with disabilities have. So, we see the societalness stereotype and bias that children might fall into some of those pitfalls. We also know that some developmental issues with traditional counseling strategies have relied very heavily on a child’s verbal ability or cognitive ability, whereas I think that presents challenges unlike Play Therapy.

And then lastly, we have a really limited amount of research for counseling children with disabilities. Most of the research that comes from the rehabilitation counseling field focuses on adults and specifically vocational options for adults. Those are the three primary stigmas that we see, but in addition to that children with disabilities have a real poor concept of self-awareness. They become isolated as far as relationships with peers and interaction with society in general and often times display kind of a muted emotional vocabulary, and that can lead to ongoing maladapted behaviors.
Dr. Hilda Glazer:
So, Play Therapy is a good intervention with children with disabilities?
Brian Bethel:
Based upon my experience, yes.
Dr. Hilda Glazer:
Okay. So, why does it work?
Brian Bethel:
Well, I think ideally Play Therapy provides a very non-threatening environment for which children are free to explore and address potential issues that they might have. As I previously mentioned, some of the stereotypes and bias really limit children with disabilities and they are viewed as if they are not capable of resolving issues on their own, or they are viewed as some deficit debate, that they have some deficit within them.

Play Therapy gives them an environment of which they can kind of gain a mastery over some of the stereotypes and bias. In addition, Play Therapy as I mentioned earlier, is not dependent upon a child’s verbal expression, so we see children who have severe language deficits that function very well with Play Therapy. It is also a wonderful adjunct for incorporating parents.

Some of the research associated with parenting a child with disability points to the fact that there is an enormous amount of stress that parents confront related to a child’s disability, and I think including parents either through providing them with some Play Therapy techniques or even the use of Filial Play Therapy is a wonderful adjunct to counseling.
Dr. Hilda Glazer:
And do you have any recommendations for implementing or adapting Play Therapy for children with disabilities?
Brian Bethel:
Yes. I think it is vitally important that any condition that is going to be working with children with disabilities have a selection of play materials that not only is that children can use from a physical standpoint, but also play materials that would reflect the child’s natural environment.

For example, I have a selection of miniatures that are called People with Diverse Abilities and they are miniatures of a child in a wheelchair, a person who have some hearing impairment issues, a person with blindness, a person on crutches and that helps to normalize a child’s own experience.

I also think simply being aware of those basic tenets of non directive play therapy creating a very free environment for children to choose what they would like to do in a session, is vitally important. If you think about individuals with disabilities, often times they are very dependent upon social services or dependent upon family members, and Play therapy provides them an opportunity, which they can choose and they are in control of what occurs in that session.
Dr. Hilda Glazer:
Thank you for that. I think you have given us a really good idea of how this can be implemented with children with disabilities. I appreciate your being with us today.

Credits

Subject Matter Expert:

Hilda Glazer, EdD & Brian Bethel

Interactive Design:

Marc Ashmore

Instructional Design:

Joe Lane

Project Management:

Laura Rosene

Play Therapy for Children with Disabilities

Presented by Dr. Hilda Glazer
Dr. Hilda Glazer:
Brian, welcome to Capella’s course 5252 Applications in Play Therapy. As you know this course for counselors and therapists focuses on the ways in which Play Therapy may be used as an intervention in a variety of special situations.
Brian Bethel:
I appreciate the opportunities. Thank you!
Dr. Hilda Glazer:
You are welcome! In this unit we have been working on the special difficulties that children with disabilities may experience and how those disabilities might impact the use of Play Therapy as an intervention. What is your experience working with children with disabilities?
Brian Bethel:
Well, I have a multitude of experience. I was previously Director of Counseling Services for a Community Mental Health Centre. And based upon my own graduate work in rehabilitation counseling, I began working with not only children, but also adults with disability and with my interest in Play Therapy began to modify and adapt techniques in working with children through a Community Mental Health setting.

Currently I serve as a counselor for a Child Advocacy Centre and we see an overwhelming number of children with disabilities that are referred due to both physical abuse and sexual abuse, and the current research validates that children with disabilities are up to ten times more vulnerable for physical and sexual abuse than children without disabilities.
Dr. Hilda Glazer:
And this is the area focused for your dissertation?
Brian Bethel:
Correct. I am currently completing my dissertation in doctoral studies, counselor education, and supervision, and my focus is Play Therapy for children with disabilities and specifically what the Play Therapy experience is like for children with disabilities.
Dr. Hilda Glazer:
Thank you. So, what are some of the therapeutic challenges that are common in working with children with disabilities?
Brian Bethel:
Well, children with disabilities confront a number of issues that become therapeutic obstacles. Most people would look at mobility and physical functioning, but there is a lot of research that also ties in some of the psychological options.

Society’s stigma of individuals with disabilities has been shown to be a very profound effect that children are impacted greatly from the stereotypes and misconceptions that children with disabilities have. So, we see the societalness stereotype and bias that children might fall into some of those pitfalls. We also know that some developmental issues with traditional counseling strategies have relied very heavily on a child’s verbal ability or cognitive ability, whereas I think that presents challenges unlike Play Therapy.

And then lastly, we have a really limited amount of research for counseling children with disabilities. Most of the research that comes from the rehabilitation counseling field focuses on adults and specifically vocational options for adults. Those are the three primary stigmas that we see, but in addition to that children with disabilities have a real poor concept of self-awareness. They become isolated as far as relationships with peers and interaction with society in general and often times display kind of a muted emotional vocabulary, and that can lead to ongoing maladapted behaviors.
Dr. Hilda Glazer:
So, Play Therapy is a good intervention with children with disabilities?
Brian Bethel:
Based upon my experience, yes.
Dr. Hilda Glazer:
Okay. So, why does it work?
Brian Bethel:
Well, I think ideally Play Therapy provides a very non-threatening environment for which children are free to explore and address potential issues that they might have. As I previously mentioned, some of the stereotypes and bias really limit children with disabilities and they are viewed as if they are not capable of resolving issues on their own, or they are viewed as some deficit debate, that they have some deficit within them.

Play Therapy gives them an environment of which they can kind of gain a mastery over some of the stereotypes and bias. In addition, Play Therapy as I mentioned earlier, is not dependent upon a child’s verbal expression, so we see children who have severe language deficits that function very well with Play Therapy. It is also a wonderful adjunct for incorporating parents.

Some of the research associated with parenting a child with disability points to the fact that there is an enormous amount of stress that parents confront related to a child’s disability, and I think including parents either through providing them with some Play Therapy techniques or even the use of Filial Play Therapy is a wonderful adjunct to counseling.
Dr. Hilda Glazer:
And do you have any recommendations for implementing or adapting Play Therapy for children with disabilities?
Brian Bethel:
Yes. I think it is vitally important that any condition that is going to be working with children with disabilities have a selection of play materials that not only is that children can use from a physical standpoint, but also play materials that would reflect the child’s natural environment.

For example, I have a selection of miniatures that are called People with Diverse Abilities and they are miniatures of a child in a wheelchair, a person who have some hearing impairment issues, a person with blindness, a person on crutches and that helps to normalize a child’s own experience.

I also think simply being aware of those basic tenets of non directive play therapy creating a very free environment for children to choose what they would like to do in a session, is vitally important. If you think about individuals with disabilities, often times they are very dependent upon social services or dependent upon family members, and Play therapy provides them an opportunity, which they can choose and they are in control of what occurs in that session.
Dr. Hilda Glazer:
Thank you for that. I think you have given us a really good idea of how this can be implemented with children with disabilities. I appreciate your being with us today.

Credits

Subject Matter Expert:

Hilda Glazer, EdD & Brian Bethel

Interactive Design:

Marc Ashmore

Instructional Design:

Joe Lane

Project Management:

Laura Rosene

Gil, E. (Ed.). (2010). Working with children to heal interpersonal trauma: The power of play. New York, NY: The Guilford Press. ISBN: 9781462513062.

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