Therapeutic Power of Play

This quote from Violet Oaklander. Worth recalling whenever you encounter challenges or obstacles in your work, and a response to those less flexible and imaginative in their outlook:

Play offers children the opportunity to learn about and try out their world. For children play is serious, purposeful business through which they develop mentally, physically, and socially. Play is a form of self-therapy for children through which confusions, anxieties, and conflicts are worked through. Through the safety of play children can try out their individual and new ways of being, be it gentle, aggressive, thoughtful, or tough. Far more than just the frivolous, light-hearted, pleasurable activity that adults usually make of it, play also serves as a language for children – a symbolism that substitutes for words.

Children at Play
The Therapeutic Power of Play

Children experience much in life they find difficult to express in language, and so they use play to formulate and assimilate what they experience. Play encourages the use of the imagination in many forms. It encourages a freedom and expansion of the spirit, a letting-go of inhibitions and restrictions. Play is essential for children’s healthy development.

Gestalt Play Therapy in Int’l Journal of Play Therapy, 10 [2], pp 45-55. [2001.]

Author: john pitt


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