January 10, 2012

Therapy with the Experts: Adlerian Play Therapy with Dr. Kottman

As someone who is new to the field of child therapy, I appreciate any and all direction when it comes to utilizing toys, games, and art projects as an avenue to deliver therapeutic interventions with children. Recently, I was browsing the video library of Counseling and Therapy in Video, and I came across a didactic demonstration of Adlerian Play Therapy for children. What is Adlerian Play Therapy? The following clip provides a nice description:

Bad hair and wardrobe aside, Dr. Terry Kottman, a registered play therapist, goes on to provide viewers with a very concrete example of how she utilizes core Adlerian concepts in the therapeutic space with a young child. Dr. Kottman outlines five broad categories of toys that she typically utilizes while practicing Adlerian play therapy with children, including the following:
  1. Family and Nurturing (e.g. kitchen set, baby dolls, bottles, doll house, etc.)
  2. Fantasy (e.g. puppets, costumes, etc.)
  3. Expressive/Arts (e.g. paints, paper, crayons, markers, easel, play-dough, etc.)
  4. Aggressive (e.g. handcuffs, weapons, bot bags, etc.)
  5. Active Play (e.g. animals, etc.)
Utilizing various toy categories above, Dr. Kottman demonstrates how to create choices for children when playing therapy games, as well as how to roll with resistance with children. I really like how Dr. Kottman leverages the child's interest in drawing to achieve the intended goals in the play therapy setting (link to video)

Lastly, the following is great demonstration of how to promote working as team, how to make deals with children, and how to encourage children in a therapy session:

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