RE: SOCW6111 Discussion 1 Question (WK8) Response to 2 Students

Children who have been abused or traumatized in some way may benefit from working with a therapist. Children often reenact trauma through repetitious play in order to establish mastery over their emotions and integrate experiences into their history on their own terms. Through the use of toys and props, children may naturally share their emotions and past experiences without feeling the pressure they might encounter with traditional talk therapy.

Respond by Day to a colleague by expanding on evidence in support of play therapy. (Please include 2 peer reviewed references)

Response to Tiffany

Post an explanation of ways play therapy might be beneficial for Claudia. Using the insights gained from the articles, describe ways you might have worked with Claudia to address her fears and anxiety related to the mugging she witnessed.

Claudia experienced a very traumatic event when she witnessed someone being mugged. This event caused her a great deal of anxiety and emotions. Since Claudia is so young, she lacks the ability to just cope with her feelings and fears which is why play therapy is of value in this case. Play therapy is a great way to get young children to express their feelings and/or identify verbally and non-verbally how they view particular situations. According to Chiesa (2012), the therapist uses empathic transactions (Hargaden & Sills, 2002) aimed at the reality in which the child finds himself or herself in the moment and at sustaining and stimulating qualities that the child cannot recognize or that have not yet developed

Children are hard to read when attempting to help them with psychological development/issues so play therapy allows them to show you what is bothering them while empowering them that what their need is are being heard and understood. I would definitely use utilize a form of play therapy with Claudia. I think when children are comfortable in their surroundings, they would be able to show you what they are experiencing through their imaginations. The sand table was a great way to get Claudia talking but maybe having Claudia to role-play what she feels and me, as the therapist, playing along with her would allow me to observe her while pulling more out her. We could also use action-figures or other toys to determine her views in a scenario. The child’s Little Professor (Berne, 1972) is thereby stimulated to look creatively for a shape or object that will render his or her emotional state expressible and externally visible (Chiesa, 2012).


Chiesa, C. (2012). Scripts in the sand: Sandplay in transactional analysis psychotherapy with children. Transactional Analysis Journal, 42(4), 285-293. Retrieved from Walden University Library Databases.


Response to Hilda

Play therapy is beneficial to Claudia because it allows her to speak to the therapist in her own language. Play can be defined as a language among children. Claudia does not have the intellectual or verbal skills to communicate her issues effectively to the therapist. Play therapy, allows children a tool to express themselves until they develop or feel comfortable with self-expression. In the case of Claudia, after play therapy was used she improved. “Claudia developed the ability to engage in affect identification, verbalizing her feelings and often sharing relevant stories” (Plummer, Makris, & Brocksen, 2014, p.14). Play therapy produced positive results for Claudia.

One way I would assist Claudia is not to be a participant in the play theory. The Therapist must be an observer not play with the child. I would observer and document her interactions with the objects. . “In the presence of the therapist, children can dialogue with the images that they have created in the sand and enter into contact with their emotional world, relive certain distressing situations without being overwhelmed, and activate possible transformations” (Chiesa 2012 pg.289). I would monitor the amount of time and ensure it is being well spent. Through observation and lack of interaction, I will prevent the data collection from being skewed.

The objects used in sand play are very important. I would be mindful when selecting objects for Claudia during sand play therapy. I would select objects that are age appropriate. According to Chiesa (2012) “The centrality of the corporeal and sensory activation renders the use of this material in the therapeutic field fit to energize the child” (p.287). By making the object in the sand relatable to Claudia and age appropriate, it will assist with a positive outcome.


Chiesa, C. (2012). Scripts in the sand: Sandplay in transactional analysis psychotherapy with children. Transactional Analysis Journal, 42(4), 285–293.

Plummer, S-B, Sara Makris, S. & Brocksen S.M.(Eds). (2014) Social Work Case Studies: Concentration Year. Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing, (Vital Source e-reader).

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