Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MA in Child Development


What is the role of a therapist in play therapy? How does play therapy actually work? While the contribution of pretend play to mental development has been widely discussed in research, how could it possibly translate into therapy? Play becomes a medium through which children can start thinking about the complicated parts of their lives and therapists can look for clues about them. But is there a “proper” way of being in the playroom with a child and if so what is it? Which methods are to be used in play therapy? When and with what child? Paying attention to the way therapists use metaphors to explain their role, this thesis will look at some of the theories of child-centered play therapy. The second part will review three case studies based on process recordings in which I will try to analyze what worked and what did not, what helped the client and what only helped me, what was essential and what was superfluous. In the discussion, I will review these metaphors through the lens of my own experience.

Included in

Psychology Commons