16. Integrating Ecosystemic Play Therapy and Theraplay in the Treatment of Attachment Disorders

  1. Athena A. Drewes,
  2. Sue C. Bratton and
  3. Charles E. Schaefer
  1. Kevin O'Connor

Published Online: 16 JUN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781118094792.ch16

Integrative Play Therapy

Integrative Play Therapy

How to Cite

O'Connor, K. (2011) Integrating Ecosystemic Play Therapy and Theraplay in the Treatment of Attachment Disorders, in Integrative Play Therapy (eds A. A. Drewes, S. C. Bratton and C. E. Schaefer), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118094792.ch16

  1. 1 This chapter contains material originally presented in three other publications:

    O'Connor, K. (2005). Combining play and cognitive interventions in the treatment of attachment disordered children. In S. Brooke (Ed.), Creative arts therapies manual. Springfield, IL: C. C. Thomas.

    O'Connor, K., & New, D. (2003). Ecosystemic play therapy. In C. Schaefer (Ed.), Foundations of play therapy. New York, NY: Wiley.

    O'Connor, K. (2011). Ecosystemic play therapy. In C. Schaefer (Ed.), Foundations of play therapy (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Wiley.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 JUN 2011
  2. Published Print: 8 JUL 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470617922

Online ISBN: 9781118094792

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Keywords:

  • ecosystemic play therapy;
  • theraplay;
  • attachment disorders;
  • reactive attachment disorder;
  • attachment behavior

Summary

This chapter focuses on integrating ecosystemic play therapy and theraplay in the treatment of attachment disorders. Problems that were earlier thought to be caused by dramatic neglect akin are known to be occur in much more subtle circumstances. The psychobiological nature of children's attachment to their caretakers is a very complex process. Caretaker serves as a secure base for the children that allows for exploration of the world and interpersonal relationships. This reciprocal process of infant/caretaker attachment does not always run smoothly. Such problems arise because of individual, interactional, or systematic difficulties. Ecosystemic play therapy is relevant to this discussion. It considers the individual development to be a chronosytem in and of itself. It also emphasizes on integrating experimental and cognitive-verbal intervention in children' play therapy sessions. Theraplay (an experimental play therapy) provides both child and adult with the corrective attachment experiences. Both therapies are effective in treating children with attachment problems. The combination of the two is more effective than one alone.