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Therapeutic Play and the Family

  • By: Sanna Thompson & Katherine Sanchez
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

In an effort to increase motivation in treatment and produce more positive outcomes for families, novel and creative therapeutic modalities have been developed. Therapeutic play is one method that provides a supplemental approach to traditional talk therapy. Activities are used to engage family members to discover the symbolism associated with shared experiences. Experiential or family play methods often involve the use of games, art, activities, and group challenges in conjunction with traditional conversation-based interventions. Play is nonconfrontational and can help family members who have difficulty verbalizing feelings. Family play is inherently optimistic and encourages families to access and use internal strengths, which can be observed and applied to experiences outside of the therapeutic session. Family play is adapted to meet the needs of the entire ...

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