Session 30. Play Therapy

We have already addressed in a previous session the issue of psychotherapeutic care with patients, as we usually call them with tenderness. I am referring to children’s psychotherapeutic care. In the clinic with children, the vehicle through which we work with them is play. And you might ask, but what problems might a child have? It is not an easy matter to judge when is the appropriate time to take a child to therapy. As we also mentioned in a previous session, schools are often the first to notice some situation in the child that needs to be attended to, and yet psychotherapeutic care is not always the first option. In some cases, parents will also have some resistance to having their children seen by a psychologist. Dad, mom, rest assured that the role of a psychologist will not be at any time to reproach them for any failure in parenting, point out, judge or criticize. In no way, it is a professional and specialized accompaniment that comes to contribute to the resolution of any particular problem. They may think that it is you who need help. This is not always easy to face, however, know that at all times the role of the mental health professional is to accompany them; join the health of the family. Play could be considered as a banal activity, a way for children to entertain themselves and spend time and not consider that among many things, play is a tool. A tool used by the mental health professional to accompany the work with the patients. It could be considered that the game is nothing more than the reproduction of a situation lived by the child, some trace of his daily life, in no way! In the game is put the subjectivity of the child. In the game something is solved. The child, when playing, overcomes painful realities and dominates the contents of his fears originated in the impulses projecting them to the outside in the toys. It becomes your opportunity to put out something that in your inner world is generating a conflict. Melanie Klein tells us that the child who plays is less repressed than the one who has difficulty symbolizing his conflicts through playful activity. The game reveals the child’s attitude towards reality. If a child can repair in the game some situation that is painful, it will not be so necessary to synthesize. Play so as not to get sick. Play in the child is equivalent to the act in the adult. The child plays, the adult acts. Play is a pleasurable activity that is usually sought by the child for that purpose, to experience pleasure. An adult who did not play, will hardly allow himself to enjoy his adult experience. I do not intend to make a reduction in this, however, it is a reality that when an adult gets sick, perhaps it was because he could not have carried out an act. The symptom takes the place that the act cannot yet have. The adult will then dispense with an analytical work that allows him to express that emotion that was not processed. The child will do the same through play. In the case of patients, if a symptom appears, the way we would work it will be playing. Where there is a symptom, play has not been possible; if that disturbance in the game is processed, the symptom would be expected to disappear. By way of conclusion. In many cases, children are trained to love, learn, develop; cry, get angry. Live life to the fullest. What they sometimes need is a space to play it. That space can be play therapy. Until next week. Peace and good.

Original source in Spanish

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