Play Therapy and Core Attachment Therapy

Part of the therapeutic process of Core Attachment Therapy© is non-directive play therapy. This follows the mommy/daddy games in the therapy session. The purpose of creating this format is for children to have a way of processing the feelings and emotions which may be generated from the attachment games.

A very clear example of the therapeutic value of following this format for children occurred between a 6 year old and his mother.  There was interruption in his attachment development due to his parents use of substances. Both parents were out of the picture for a while. His mother worked hard to get clean and to get her son back.

After interviewing the mother and getting a developmental history of the boy, it was determined that Core Attachment Therapy© would help the boy feel more secure in the world.

As suspected, there were some rough spots during the attachment games. Each corresponded to times in his life where he experienced disruption. What was amazing to witness was the therapeutic play he had created after each of the mommy games.

Phase 1 of attachment development is feeling safe and secure while being cared for. His play evolved around being a wolf in a cave and his mother coming and going bringing things in that they needed.

Phase 2 of attachment development is the understanding that the child is a separate individual from the parent. During this phase of the mommy games, he utilizes mommy/child stuffed animals. The mommy takes the child to and from school and protects the child from troll.

Phase 3 of attachment development is the development of an individuated self. What evolved in this boy’s play was first being doctor’s and taking turns listening to one another’s heart to later playing Hide N’ Seek.

Emotional changes noted in the boy was overall calmness, happiness and ease with being with others.

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