10 July 2018

Play Therapy | Principles for Relationships with Children

Play Therapy: The Art of the Relationship

by Garry Landreth

Working with children, as a mental health practitioner, teacher, guardian, health care worker, or simply as a parent can be difficult occasionally (regardless of what some people might say). It's okay to struggle. When I went through play therapy training, this text was extremely helpful. For those working with children...this is something you should read and acknowledge within yourself.  
I am not all knowing.

Therefore, I will not even attempt to be.
I need to be loved.
Therefore, I will be open to loving children.
I want to be more accepting of the child in me.
Therefore, I will with wonder and awe allow children to illuminate my world.
I know so little about the complex intricacies of childhood.
Therefore, I will allow children to teach me.
I learn best from and am impacted most by my personal struggles.
Therefore, I will join with children in their struggles.
I sometimes need a refuge.
Therefore, I will provide a refuge for children.
I like it when I am fully accepted as the person I am.
Therefore, I will strive to experience and appreciate the person of the child.
I make mistakes. They are a declaration of the way I am - human and fallible.
Therefore, I will be tolerant of the humanness of children.
I react with emotional internalization and expression to my world of reality.
Therefore, I will relinquish the grasp I have on reality and try to enter the world as
experienced by the child.
It feels good to be an authority, to provide answers.
Therefore, I will need to work hard to protect children from me!
I am more fully me when I feel safe.
Therefore, I will be consistent in my interactions with children.
I am the only person who can live my life.
Therefore, I will not attempt to rule a child's life.
I have learned most of what I know from experiencing.
Therefore, I will allow children to experience.
The hope I experience and the will to live come from within me.
Therefore, I will recognize and affirm the child's will and self-hood.
I cannot make a children's hurts and fears and frustrations and disappointments go away.
Therefore, I will soften the blow.
I experience fear when I am vulnerable.
Therefore I will with kindness, gentleness, and tenderness touch the inner world of
the vulnerable child.
Landreth, G. (2012). Play therapy: the art of the relationship (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Brunner-Routledge.