The Function of Play for Coping and Therapy with Children Exposed to Disasters and Political Violence
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Purpose of Review
The objectives were to identify specific characteristics and patterns of children’s play following events of political violence or disasters, examine their associations with risk and resilience, and explore their implications for preventive and therapeutic intervention.
Patterns of individual, dyadic, and social play are associated with measures of children’s adaptation following collective traumatic events. Modifying the traditional child-centered play therapy, by integrating CBT principles or including parents, may increase efficacy.
Preventive interventions in the aftermath of collective traumatic events must address children’s need to play in safe spaces, with the support of significant adults. Recognizing that posttraumatic play is a multifaceted phenomenon implies the need for more individualized play therapy models, varying in level of therapist’s activity and techniques employed. Research is needed to clarify the validity of play measures for assessing adaptation and to study the effectiveness of integrative play-based models.
KeywordsPosttraumatic play Play therapy Play-based community interventions Collective traumatic events Risk and resilience Family-based play interventions
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance.
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