5. Holistic Expressive Play Therapy

An Integrative Approach to Helping Maltreated Children

  1. Athena A. Drewes,
  2. Sue C. Bratton and
  3. Charles E. Schaefer
  1. Marie-Jośe Dhaese

Published Online: 16 JUN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781118094792.ch5

Integrative Play Therapy

Integrative Play Therapy

How to Cite

Dhaese, M.-J. (2011) Holistic Expressive Play Therapy, 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.ch5

Publication History

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

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470617922

Online ISBN: 9781118094792



  • maltreated children;
  • chronic mistreatment;
  • integrated model;
  • play therapy;
  • anthroposophy


An alternative approach to help a maltreated child has been discussed. Maltreatment often occurs at the very hands of those who should have been taking care of the child. Maltreated children are those who have been given no personal sense of value, whose basic needs have been ignored, and who have been consistently attacked and misused emotionally, physically, and/or sexually. Maltreated children need an integrative approach for healing. By the time these children are referred to therapy, they are often in foster care, having been through several placements, while others are in adoptive homes. The child needs to be given practical alternatives that he can practice in the playroom and then eventually transfer into his daily life. The link between the two processes, inside-out and outside-in, is the therapeutic relationship, just as the relationship between nurse and patient plays a major role in the experience and success of any medical procedure. Therapist's capacity for attunement to the needs of each child is essential to the effectiveness of the therapeutic process.