Play Therapy Technique for Play Therapy Clients: Seperation Anxiety, School Refusal, Bullying Prevention & School Trauma Issue

by Play Therapy Students

Play therapy activity for Play Therapy Clients:  Seperation Anxiety, School Refusal, Bullying Prevention & School Trauma Issue

Play therapy activity for Play Therapy Clients: Seperation Anxiety, School Refusal, Bullying Prevention & School Trauma Issue

Fake Client name: Kenya R.

Bullying Prevention, School Refusal, Seperation Anxiety, School Trauma: This pretend child client is suffering from separation anxiety and is terrified of school due to a teacher that bullies him/her. Other students are also picking on this client at school. How can you support this client and make it safe for him/her to go back to school?

Intervention: In this play therapy technique counseling session, we re-created Kenya’s classroom as she describes it and we placed the appropriate miniatures. Kenya is facing many challenges at school; including being bullied by her teacher and other students. Kenya is having a very difficult time coping with these external factors. Kenya's mother has been working with the school to resolve these issues with the teacher and other students. Our goal was to help Kenya feel safe at school and try to find out what were some of the positive things she liked about school. Of course, Kenya said that she loved recess! Recess is the time when she gets to play with friends and she is away from the "problem" teacher. We amplified recess as a positive aspect of going to school for Kenya.

We encouraged Kenya to focus on recess as a positive “outlet” and motivator to want to at least go to school. When children are faced with problems at school, the school day feels like it “never ends”. It was very difficult for Kenya’s mom to get her ready for school in the mornings. Kenya adored her mother and began resenting her for making her go to school with all of the “mean” people. We asked Kenya to pick out her favorite stuffed animal at home (sprayed with mother’s perfume) to take with her to school. This stuffed animal will help provide tangible comfort whenever Kenya thinks about home. Home is her “safe place” and she needs a piece of home with her to feel some comfort.

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"Beyond Art Therapy" is the concept from Dr. Stangline that combines all creative fields in therapy. It is not the traditional "art therapy" but goes beyond to include sand tray therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, meditation, color therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a vast majority of other therapies.

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