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                                             HISTORY OF PLAY THERAPY

Play therapy was influenced by Anna Freud (1895-1982) and Melaine Klein's (1882-1960) work with children. These two psychotherapist's work and practice based on Sigmund Freud's psychoanalyst theory but later they both distinct their work from Freud's one. They integrated play into their work with children in order to achieve free association through a manipulation of toys. Their play therapy approach was structured and directed.

A non-directive play therapy was developed by Virginia Axline (1911-1988), who was influenced by theory and practice of Carl Rogers (1902-1987). By offering children a non-directive play, Virginia Axline believed that children had the ability to deal with their own emotional issues and to create coping mechanisms. Play therapists, who adopt a non-directive approach, have no aim to change the child, instead believe the child has power to strive towards his/her growth and self-direction. Carl Gustav Jung (1975-1961) is another psychotherapist who has contributed in play therapy massively. Working through children's symbols and metaphors is like a mirror to children's inner world and unconscious layer.   Play therapy is continuously a developing field of child psychotherapy, integrating different approaches.  Violet play therapy has adopted Virgin Axline's eight principles of play therapy (See below)  alongside an Integrative Holistic Approach which allows its practitioners and volunteers to include both structured/directed and non-directed interventions according to children's psychological and emotional needs.   

''Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.''


-Maria Montassori



  1) Developing a warm, friendly relationship with the child.

  2) Accepting the child as he/she is.

  3) Establishing a feeling of permissiveness. 

  4) Reflecting the child's feelings back to him/her so he/she cangain  insight of his/her feelings.

 5) Respecting the child's ability to solve his/her problems. 

 6) The child leads the way and the therapist follows.

 7)  The therapist does not attempt to hurry the therapy.

 8) Establishing the limitations to anchor the therapy to the world of reality and making the child aware of his/her responsibility in the relationship

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