Investigating the effectiveness of experiential play therapy: a case study of emotional abuse

Mukba G., Çenesiz G. Z., Tanhan F., Mukba M.

The 15th European Conference on Traumatic Stress Child Maltreatment Across the Lifespan, Odense, Denmark, 2 - 04 June 2017, pp.226-227

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Odense
  • Country: Denmark
  • Page Numbers: pp.226-227
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


Introduction: Experiential play therapy (EPT) helps a child to test his/her strength in a safe respected environment (1). The present study aims to investigate a) the effectiveness of EPT for emotional abuse cases b) the meaning of events through plays. Method: Case study was used as a qualitative research design. Case reports include four boys aged between 7 to 9, who were exposed to domestic violence, emotional abuse and exhibited aggressive 227 behaviors. The number of EPT sessions for each boy ranges from 6 to 8. Content analysis of sessions has been done. Results: Themes of plays and toys emerged as follows: aggression (n=150), heroes/animals fighting (n =47), death/injury (n =34), value (n=32), hard verbal expression (n=29), punishment (n=22), competition (n=21); animals (n=53), fighting tools (n=40), competitive toys (n=28), repair tools (n=15). It can be reported that children’s temperamental behaviors diminished after sessions. Discussion: Destructive plays related to emotional experiences were observed repeatedly and showed a decrease towards the end of sessions. It can be interpreted that children have restructured their experiences. (2) found that interventions in client-centered play therapy are effective in reducing negative emotions.