Monday, October 28, 2013

Play Therapy in Schools

Does school play therapy happen?

First of all, school counselors do not provide therapy.  When students have pressing needs they are referred out to professional licensed mental health counselors.

But play and use of games can happen in schools.  Games can be used to facilitate and start good discussions.  When those discussions happen, the game can be put aside. The real work is happening.

Everyday games are more important than ever before for our students.  Many of them have lost touch with face to face healthy encounters with others.  They go to school, go home, eat by themselves, watch TV or play video games.  They interact on facebook, tumbler or other social media.  Their conversations do not include use of reading body language, eye contact, or tone of voice.  These are big missing pieces.  When they interact socially in the school setting or on the bus, they are overwhelmed.  They do not know how to hold meaningful conversations or interact properly with other. 

Games allow for face to face interactions with other humans.  This is NEW to many students today.  They enjoy the hands-on interaction and meaningful discussions with others.  And this is needed!

Simple games to get discussions started can be "Barrel of Monkeys" or "Tumble"!

Have students make up a set of their own rules and see what happens.  Let the games begin!