MODULE TITLE: Therapeutic Playwork CREDIT POINTS: 15 LEVEL: 3 LOCATION: B. A (Hons) Playwork STATUS : Elective AIMS: This module is addressed to meet the needs of playworkers intending to practice therapeutically and aims to offer insights into a range of techniques used. The core of the module is theoretical, but practice issues will be addressed and techniques explored at a practical level.
The module aims to enable intending therapeutic playworkers to make appropriate choices as to methods used and to develop skills in those they prefer. LEARNING OUTCOMES: On completion of the module, students will be able to: demonstrate an understanding of a range of therapeutic uses of play and insight into their differences demonstrate competence in play-related skills appropriate to one or more therapies assess children’s play needs and utilise, or advise on the utilisation of, appropriate therapeutic techniques
INDICATIVE CONTENT: Theories covered will focus on the depth psychologies and associated therapeutic practices. Case studies will be examined and alternatives discussed. Students will be asked to engage in discussion with current practitioners directly and through email discussion lists. LEARNING STRATEGY: In a field in which little is certain and controversy rages, the ability to analyse the work of others is a key skill on which this module will focus.
Students will be expected to reflect on their own life experiences in some depth to inform their decisions as to practice and their explanations of those decisions to peers. Classes will mostly operate as workshops in which case studies and associated theories are offered with illustrations from personal or professional experiences for peer analysis and ideas for alternatives or for development. EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY: It is the intention that this module will provide learning opportunities for all students regardless of race, class, disability or gender.
The module will address equal opportunities specifically by examining the impact of oppression on children’s developing personalities and methods of countering those effects. ASSESSMENT: An analysis of a case study of 2,500 words will form the work for assessment. The case study should be of work carried out by the student and may be ongoing or related to past practice. Evidence of discussion on a wide basis, such as through an email discussion group, should be offered in support of conclusions reached.
INDICATIVE READING: Doft, N and Aria, B (1992) When Your Child Needs Help New York, Crown Trade Wolf, A. Kutash, I and Nattland, C. (1993) The Primacy of the Individual in Psychoanalysis in Groups New Jersey, Jason Aronson Bromley, D. (1986) The Case Study Method in Psychology and Related Disciplines. Chichester, Wiley Burghardt, G. (2005) The Genesis of Animal Play. London, MIT Press. Barker, P. (1992) Basic Family Therapy 3rd Edition. Oxford, Blackwell Miller, A. (1987) For Your Own Good London, Virago Brendler, J. t al (1991) Madness, Chaos and Violence New York, Basic Books Corey, G. (1996) Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy 5th Edition. Pacific Grove, Brooks/Cole Canadian Play Therapy Institute http://www. playtherapy. org Autism Self-Help Pages http://www. ncia. net/users/ogc4/ http://www. jiscmail. ac. uk email discussion archives on the lists: psych-couns; child-health; psychoanalytic-studies http://www. yahoogroups. com email discussion group archives for evolutionary-psychology; play-therapy KEY SKILLS:
Theory and Principles child development in relation to personality Analysis and Reflection understanding growth and change in the mind Application and reflection facilitation of personal development in the child Synthesis and evaluation understanding a variety of intervention processes Creativity devising intervention strategies Technical Skills relating to children and accessing a body of knowledge Organisation and planning managing the workload & assessment Communication presentation of project & contribution to class Group/Interpersonal groupwork in class Data Collection & Interpretation material for the project. Day 1 Tuesday 2nd Feb in C210; from 09. 30 to 16. 30ish Introduction to the module, processes and content, participant knowledge, experience and values. Use of X-stream to support sessions, study aids such as iGoogle. Work for assessment, overview and arrangements to discuss any planned variations from the standard format. The elective stands alone and is appropriate to undertake from many backgrounds that include some study of social, cognitive, developmental and depth psychologies. [examples of each Social psychology – Cognitive psychology –
Behavioural (and animal) psychology – Developmental psychology – Depth psychologies – ] It is also the third in a series of electives intended to offer that background to playwork students. It is primarily a theoretical elective, requiring students to examine a range of theories and related practices. In session 5, students are asked to present a theory and related playwork practice for a fifteen minute discussion which they should prepare themselves to facilitate. The work for assessment is an analysis of a case study drawn on their own work. This may be from ongoing work drawn from very recent past practice or from a short study carried out specifically for this purpose.
In addition to offering a strong theoretical framework, students should offer evidence of discussion with therapeutic practitioners directly, by mail or by email. The psych-couns group on jiscmail may be used for this purpose. The play-therapy group on yahoogroups is equally suitable. A broad outline of theory to be covered. Play as a healing process – examples from theory and practice 1. Evolutionary psychology first, to examine play cues. You can only respond to that which you can sense. Your body has a limited range of responses. Your brain has a limited range of responses. Do you have a mind separate or distinct from your brain? Are its responses limited? Play cues, play frames, temenos, the concept of a metaludic space.
Making Play Work as a practice model is explained. Practical work with very young children. Exercises in non-confrontation, play related engagement, Looking on; parallel play; joining in; simple social play; complex social play Day 2 Tuesday 9th Feb C210; from 09. 30 to 16. 30 ish iGoogle how did it go? Do use the storage space offered. Nearly 8GB is not to be sneezed at even in this day and age of cheap memory. Remember too, it learns as you go along, so searches get easier and more productive. Use the front page flexibly, load up tools that are useful in the short term as well as the long term, then dump them when you no longer need them. Show some new items.
Demo some new technologies, Mall cam dial in, electronic photo, satellite photo etc. In the first period of snow for some time, 15,000 people rang 999 to complain that children were throwing snowballs. Are we concerned about that? If so, what concerns us? The waste of resources? The seemingly unreasonable fear of crime this could suggest? The barbarism of our children? Examples from theory and practice 2. Ethics Release Forms. Talking cures, Freudian, Jungian, Lacanian, the object relations school, Klein, Axline, Pinney, Rogers. The thorny issue of transference and counter-transfrence. Winnicott, Dockar-Drysdale, Steiner, Montessori and others.
Regression therapy, transitional objects, environmental considerations. Where do we start? Should theory contain practice? Should theory always inform practice? Does theory always explain practice outcomes? Where do you start if theory appears not to match practice outcomes? Review of theory and practice in relation to playwork opportunities. This will tend to focus on narrative, as so much play is narrative, is narrative driven, or is accompanied by narrative. Cueing behaviours can let us see some of this narrative in development and good observation techniques can show us more. Desmond Morris’ books are a usefull if populist source and ar a very easy read.
Working with young children – Small Worlds. Supporting and enabling the externalisation of narrative is a very powerful technique. How do we identify reality from imaginative exploration? Should we seek to do that? How far do we intervene? If our interventions appear to cause distress to the child do we stop? If the child’s own story appears to cause distress do we seek to divert/deflect its course. Day 3 Tuesday 16th Feb C210; from 09. 30 to 16. 30 ish Steve Paul pm Small Worlds (2) Proper stories, do the figures used shape the story? How does shared narrative work? Winnicott’s Squiggle game evidently had some merit, but was hard to interpret.
Well’s Floor Games and Small Worlds games offer apparently easy access, but do they enable analysis? The bear that couldn’t go to sleep I can do anything, that’s everything, all on my own Lifeboat Planet Distraction, deflection, the Child Life programmes in the US and Canada, Winnicott the clinician. Day 4 – Steve Paul pm Tuesday 23rd March C210; from 09. 30 to 16. 30 ish Relevant practice skills and appropriate contexts (2) Dens, gangs, best friends and all the other dramas of childhood. What are the opportunities for sensitive intervention and support? How do you know when your intervention is welcome? Did the likes of Winnicott always get it right?
The creative therapies, music, dance, drama, poetry, drawing, painting, sculpture and so much more. Playing at football or playing at being a footballer? How can a practitioner train their insight? Listening and hearing skills. Relevant practice skills and appropriate contexts (3) Steve Paul Examples from theory and practice 4 Environmental psychology, sociobiology/ethology/evolutionary psychology, especially Lorenz Advice and support for student presentations next session Day 5 Tuesday 2nd March C210; from 09. 30 to 16. 30 ish Work for assessment. Ask yourself questions. Why did that case study method appeal to you? What discipline is it rooted in?
Sociological methods can differ markedly from psychological methods. Counting things tends to suggest the analysis will be statistical in nature. Methods based on models of number (algorithms) may differ very strongly from models based on words (paradigms). Crucially for you, they tend to require different skill sets for analysis. Each method will tend to suggest specific things you should record. Some of these will be unique to the method. What are the unique factors in your preferred method? What do they imply for analysis? Sharing your work – we will share thinking in class today. We also need to share thinking across a profession based on our chosen theories.
For example, if the chosen theory set is Karl Roger’s and client-centred counselling, then the email list psych-couns on the jiscmail server might be the right one. If your approach is professional playwork, the UKPlayworkers on yahoogroups might work for you. If you have a fondness for medical model theories, there are excellent paediatric groups on jiscmail, some aimed at psychotherapeutic practitioners. If Play Therapy is your thing, then there is a play therapy group on yahoo. Whichever you choose, it is a requirement that you put your thinking, in whole or in part, out for peer review. The results should be appended to your case study analysis and may inform that analysis. Remember, good interesting questions tend to attract the most helpful responses. Are your preferred theories current?
Have you reviewed current thinking in that field? The revered elders of theory are fine for illustration, but rarely for proof. No-one dead for more than ten years has done current work. You may find that current practitioners you email suggest recent work. Read through your notes, especially your comments. How did you know that? Have you offered a source so your reader can see why you came to that conclusion, made that choice, felt that way? Relevant practice skills and appropriate contexts (4) Student led exercises Brilliant, incisive presentations for facilitated debate. Practice review and assessment tutorials through group support and constructive criticism.