-This is a tremendously inspiring profile of a 34-year veteran in the service of child welfare. Her efforts in advocacy and providing services for foster children have changed lives, and her fights for funding along the way have galvanized change on a governmental level. On a related note, this blog post from The Guardian provides some very helpful advice on how to empathize with foster children and be the best foster carer possible.
-In late September, the MetroWest Daily News published an editorial by Dr. Michael Azzerad in which the efficacy of play therapy is called into question. A few days later, a play therapist offered counterpoints based on her experience. What are your thoughts on this debate? Let us know in the comments!
-This interview with Phyllis Booth, Clinical Director Emeritus of the Theraplay Institute, is lengthy, sure, but since when is that a bad thing? It’s full of stories and insight from a true trailblazer in the field of play therapy. Print this one out and enjoy an enlightening read!
-It’s difficult to predict how a child will react to their parents getting divorced. In this article, the mother of an only child recounts her own experience and the considerable role that play therapy played in helping her daughter adjust.
-This three-part story about the abuse and neglect of a young child with Down syndrome is difficult to read, but it’s outcome is a testament to the power of therapy. It’s also an inspiring account of a community coming together to help a child heal. (A follow-up to the story, detailing the waves of support that came in after it’s publication, was published a week later.)
-The power of music is a mysterious and magnificent thing. It can build a sense of community, elicit emotional response, or transport someone to a significant point in their personal history. The Utah APT recently held a conference on using music in play therapy, and an attendee wrote this thorough recap. This is one I hate to have missed!
-I really enjoy reading profiles of child therapy practitioners in local newspapers. It’s encouraging and enlightening to see the practice of play therapy grow and discover new approaches to intervention. Here’s one on a social worker in Minnesota who uses non-directive play therapy to help kids with mental and emotional issues.
-The inaugural episode of an Australian play therapy podcast deals with child trauma and how it can affect sleep. A worthwhile listen! Looking forward to hearing more!
-It wouldn’t be a MPTP monthly wrap-up without a new story about healing horses! This particular practice takes a ground-based approach: instead of riding the horses, the idea is to connect with the animals and lead them through obstacles. Horses are very sensitive to negative energies, so the exercise allows a person to build on their self-calming and teamwork skills.
-Another hot play therapy news item is the use of Legos as a therapeutic device, particularly with autistic children. I still haven’t seen ‘A Lego Brickumentary’, but I’m eager to check it out! Any Siskels or Eberts out there want to share their review?
-People arrive at play therapy from many different paths. This practitioner was a pharmacist for more than a decade before discovering a passion for helping children through play.
-It’s come to this: in South Korea, a state-run institution has been set up for teenagers who are addicted to their smartphones. The center uses a variety of approaches to treat the media-dependent patients, including play therapy. In one exercise, they are asked to answer two questions: ‘What would it be like if you spent the next 10,000 hours playing with your smartphone?’ and ‘What would it be like if you spend the next 10,000 hours trying to achieve your dream?’. This is something we would all do well to consider.
-Two survivors of domestic violence are helping other victims through the means of play and drama therapy.
The big annual National APT conference in Atlanta was a great success, as usual. It’s always so exciting to meet play therapists from all across the country. Thanks to all who stopped by the Child Therapy Toys booth!
Have a novel November!