Helping Children > Play and Art


How does Play and Expressive Art Work for Human-being?

Inner or expressive activities using PLAY and ART is a well established discipline for individuals with life challenges emotionally or behaviorally, based upon a number of psychological theories as it operates on impulses from outside our awareness. It is human adaptation for life, and correlate with life’s flexibility of action and learning. Various kinds of play (such as movement, structure, drawing, activating strategies, and others) could be primary supporting ways of behavioral, cognitive, social, emotional, physical development for every individual whether he/she has mental challenges or not.

Research, both qualitative and quantitative, shows that it is highly effective in many cases for individuals with mental challenges. Especially for children, a safe-confidential-caring environment is created which allows them to play or express their inners using mediating materials as few limits as possible but as many as necessary, which allows healing to occur on many levels following our natural inner trend towards health. The therapist may reflect back to the child observations of what has happened during the session if this is felt to be appropriate.

Play and Expressive Art is a form of psychotherapeutic support which integrates movement, sandplay, music, structural play with children’s toys, drawing, sculpturing, recreational activities, and other forms of natural expression into treatment. Play and Expressive Art therapy may take a number of forms, which may last from typically 30 to 45 minutes for children and an hour or adaptive time for adolescents. With individual or groups of individuals, a variety of techniques could be used according to each individual’s therapeutic needs and characteristics.

PTKR (Play Therapy KOREA) has, through the work carried out by Play Therapy International (PTI), pioneered the development and use of a competency framework, as the foundation of a Profession Structure Model, to improve the understanding of exactly what a practitioner of therapeutic play and expressive art do. Especially, we PTKR emphasize on our philosophy of two beliefs in practicing our therapeutic services. One is that every human is an integrated and holistic ‘Being’ who has the nature of evolution and infinite capacity. The other is that every human has a precious kernel or spirit of Unity as well as body, mind, and soul. Practically, based on our philosophy we adopt a mix of evidenced-based effective techniques with a list of competencies.



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