Children's Use of Board Games in Psychotherapy
Publisher: Jason Aronson, Inc.
ISBN 10: 0765703564
ISBN 13: 978-0765703569
Play with structure board games is developmentally appropriate for latency-age children but is seldom discussed in the child therapy literature or seen as therapeutically useful. This book describes ways that structured board games can reveal the internal psychodynamic working of the child and can be understood as projective material. Clinical examples of children's play reveal parallels between their dramatic and their board-game play. Both show unconscious content, defensive needs, and interpersonal and transferential relationships. As therapists, we can search for the same underlying dynamics we would look for in these other symbolic expressions."This book also discusses a child's developmental changes and how the dramatic, magical play of childhood is replaced by the structured, rule-oriented play of the middle years. Therapists must sensitively follow hem in this development, rather than force them to continue the more regressed play of childhood or push them prematurely into the verbal world of adolescents and adults. Children's Use Of Board Games in Psychotherapy demonstrates ways to work with the material which children give us at this stage, even when expressed in the form of structured games.
Dr. Bellinson has written the most valuable kind of professional book: one that will change the way you do therapy. Her insights into the meanings of children's behavior while playing board games are enlightening. Her clinical examples and her suggestions regarding the therapeutic use of these behaviors are even more insightful. This book is not vague or pretentious. It is straightforward, practical, and likely to lead readers to their own creative use of the only expressive medium that most latency-age children will choose to use in the playroom. This is a significant contribution to a crucial but neglected area of child therapy. (John E. Meeks, M.D., president and medical director, The Foundation Schools)
This book fills a gaping hole in the child psychotherapy literature. Until now, the training received by child therapists usually failed to prepare them for the use of board games, the preferred and age-appropriate activity of many school-age children. Bellinson addresses this issue straightforwardly, with many down-to-earth suggestions to the therapist, and a multitude of clinical examples. She shows in detail how the childrens' character structure and psychodynamics can be revealed in how they use board games, and she demonstrates how the therapeutic process can proceed productively through this modality. The writing is accessible and engaging. This book will be valued by beginning child therapists and 'old hands' alike. (Neil Altman, Ph.D., co-editor, Psychoanalytic Dialogues)
About the Author
Jill Bellinson, Ph.D., is a faculty member and supervisor at the William Alanson White Institute, the Metropolitan Institute for Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, and the National Institute for the Psychotherapies. She has played board games with children in therapy for more than 20 years, most recently in private practice in New York City.