How Play Therapy helps children develop confidence -Part B


We all need self-efficacy to cope in life. Self-efficacy is a belief that we are able to perform in ways that will help meet our needs. For example, children with high self-efficacy believe they have many ways to help themselves to learn something new, even if they run into a snag. They are motivated to learn and attribute success and failure to their own efforts.

Children with low self-efficacy will sit back when they don't understand. They will give up and stop trying and blame their failure on everything but themselves.

Four contributor's to self-efficacy (Bandura's theory, 1977)

Being successful

Seeing another person be successful

Someone telling you, you can do it

And your autonomic nervous system saying you are okay.

Child Centered Play Therapy (CCPT)

This therapy supports greatly Bandura's theory in building confidence in children.

In CCPT the therapist does not judge the child. So everything the child does is successful. There is no judgment from another person.

The second contributor to self-efficacy is present' when the therapist models acceptance of the child's efficacy and the effective coping strategies'. The therapist accepts the child as she is and voices this through verbal reinforcement of the child's behaviour.

'We can imagine that the lack of judgment, and the acknowledgment of who the child really is without judgment leads to self-acceptance and management of anxiety or other conditions that would increase a physiological response in the body'.

Why I practice Child Centered Play Therapy

I see that children with social anxiety need self-efficacy to overcome the struggle they face in making friends, standing up in front of their classroom peers or just taking a risk in venturing into new activities, such as swimming or surfing.

This therapy enables children to naturally grow and heal and flourish. In a trusting relationship with the therapist, children are able to pace themselves in their own way to develop the confidence they need, and grow beyond the obstacles limiting them.

The American National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) recently rated CCPT as a 'credible intervention' for children with anxiety disorders and symptoms (Play Therapy: an evidence-based practice, 2017, Dee, C.Ray), Association for Play Therapy 'Play Therapy' magazine, Vol 12, Issue 2, 2017.

Child Centered Play Therapy Research, p.37, 2010, Baggerly, J. N., Dee, C.R., & Bratton, S. C. (eds.) Wiley & Sons. 'Increased Self-Efficacy: One reason for Play Therapy success', Marijane Fall.