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Play Therapy in the Outdoors: Taking Play Therapy out of the Playroom and into Natural Environments

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Author: Alison Chown, Sara Knight

Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Published: 21/05/2014

ISBN: 9781849054089

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Championing the therapeutic power of nature, this book explores why outdoor play therapy offers children more than being confined to a playroom and how practice can be moved into the natural environment in a safe and ethical way. By using outdoor environments, the traditional dyadic relationship between the therapist and the child becomes a triadic one in which the therapeutic process is enhanced and the environment for the play therapy is shared and therefore more ‘democratic’. The child can develop a lifelong therapeutic attachment to the ‘nature mother’ which supports the development of the body self and a growing recognition of our interdependence with nature. The author explores how this is achievable in practice and the benefits to children with a wide range of needs including profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), complex social, emotional and behavioural problems (SEBD) and attachment issues. Synthesising traditions of using outdoor spaces in a therapeutic context with approaches from educational perspectives, this book offers a theoretically-sound and practical framework for taking play therapy into natural environments.