Madam Lita Hazarika, a Psychologist and a Counselor, working for the Street and Homeless children at Don Bosco Snehalaya, Guwahati conducted a two-day work-shop on Play Therapy: Counseling Designed for Children for Assam Don Bosco University (ADBU) students of M. Sc (Psychological Counseling) and M.A. (Child Rights & Development) on 31 March to 1 April 2014. The program was held at Don Bosco Snehalaya, Paltan Bazar – Guwahati. There were 20 students participating at the workshop.
“So often in modern life we never seem to have enough time to spend with our children – just playing, just being there for them,” says Madam Hazarika explaining the need for play therapy.
In this method, Madam Hazarika says, “The child is given strategies to cope with difficulties they face in life and which they themselves cannot change, and provides a more positive view of their future life.”
Therapeutic play, (including play therapy), is a well established discipline based upon a number of psychological theories. Research, both qualitative and quantitative shows that it is highly effective in many cases.
Recent research by Play Therapy UK (PTUK), an organisation affiliated to Play Therapy International (PTI), suggests that 71% of the children referred to play therapy will show a positive change.
A safe, confidential and caring environment is created which allows the child to play with as few limits as possible but as many as necessary (for physical and emotional safety).
Madam Hazarika adds, “this allows healing to occur on many levels following our natural inner trend towards health. Play and creativity operate on impulses from outside our awareness – the unconscious. No medication is used.”
The therapist may reflect back to the child observations of what has happened during the session if this is felt to be appropriate. Above all the child is given Special Time.