Introduction to Developmental Playtherapy
196 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Apr 1999

Introduction to Developmental Playtherapy

Playing and Health

By Sue Jennings; Foreword by Mooli Lahad
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Developing the basic principles of her model of playtherapy, Sue Jennings has written a stimulating book that will provide inspiration for those new to the discipline, whilst providing a fresh and exciting approach for established practitioners. In Introduction to Developmental Playtherapy, Jennings argues that creative play is essential for children's health. Drawing on examples from her own professional experience, she discusses how play can help resolve issues by allowing possible solutions to be explored safely, thus encouraging flexibility of response. She explores the cultural background and theory of using play as a therapeutic tool with children and how play can communicate to the therapist what the child needs to tell. Innovative and accessible, her book breaks fertile new ground for playtherapy.
'This delightful book gives an informative and comprehensive introduction to developmental play therapy and the importance of play for children's health and healing. Easy to read and very accessible for all levels of experience, this book is packed full of practical ideas and clinical examples - a pleasure to read.'-Mental Health Occupational Therapy'Sue Jennings has done it again! This coherent introduction to the world of Playtherapy will absorb and fascinate with tales of dinosaurs and tractors. Anyone interested in Playtherapy will find this book invaluable: it demystifies, provides a structure for Playtherapy provision and guidance to reassess current practice. It is illustrated with personal and professional examples. Well researched and referenced, the book dives into fundamentals of Playtherapy and continues to develop the "Playtherapy Method" focusing on detailed observation of children at play. Conflicting theories are discussed as to whether orientation and interpretation are appropriate approaches to Play. Sue Jennings tries to demonstrate an empathetic response to play from the child's perspective. What will be particularly useful to both existing and novice Dramatherapists is the way the author has structured the book to describe the Playtherapy method by breaking down its structure into understandable bite sized pieces that provide a foundation linking theory to practice. The "Embodiment-Projection-Role" methodology encapsulates the concepts of understanding everyday and dramatic reality which develops as the child matures. Moving from physical and sensory awareness i.e. Embodiment to increased interaction with the outside world Projection, when the child is able to engage in playing make believe and taking on roles the final stage of Role is developed. There is also some final discussion on the value of observed play, and the responsibility of parents and carers to lose their own inhibitions and allow themselves to play freely. Acknowledgement of this skill is not new, but adults often need reminding of the value of play. It can take practice!'- Dramatherapy'This book is aimed at anyone with an interest in the symbolic and problem-solving value of children's play and as such it offers a comprehensive guide to playtherapy as well as suggestions for further reading. But it is more than that. Jennings is a practitioner, teacher and author. She focuses on the child and the therapist rather than trying to impress the reader with jargon. Her potted guides to different models of child development and methodologies (including her own) are particularly useful and she is not afraid to highlight the strengths and weaknesses she sees in each. What comes through repeatedly is that there can be no rigid recipes for interpretation. She suggests that we need to view children through a wide-angled lens, seeing what they are doing rather than imposing our thoughts on them. This makes her an ideal introduction for playworkers seeking an introduction to playrtherapy.'- Let's Play
Sue Jennings' career in professional theatre and dramatherapy spans over 40 years. She has written and edited over a dozen books, including Introduction to Dramatherapy and Playtherapy with Children: A Practitioner's Guide. Currently, she holds Visiting Professorships at the University of Ulster, Tel Hai College and New York University, and is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Surrey Roehampton.
Foreword, Mooli Lahad. Introduction. 1. Towards a new philosophy of play. 2. Some developmental theories. 3. The playtherapy method. 4. Dramatic play as a basis for living. 5. Practical playtherapy: Embodiment. 6. Practical playtherapy: Projection. 7. The playtherapy method: Role and dramatic play. 8. Playtherapy applications. 9. Playtherapy in practice. Appendix 1: Playtherapy resources. Appendix 2: Developmental checklist. Bibliography. Index.
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