Playing for real : play therapy with children traumatised by maltreatment : a pilot study : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Psychology at Massey University
The aim of the present study was to develop and pilot a play therapy manual for use with maltreated children presenting with trauma symptoms or post traumatic stress disorder. Four children (aged 6-8 years) with trauma symptoms and their caregivers participated in the study. Pre and post-treatment measures included a structured diagnostic interview with the children to determine PTSD diagnosis, parent report, teacher report, and child self-report measures. While some treatment gains were observed, these were most evident where there was greater PTSD symptomatology. The play therapy manual developed for the study appeared to allow the processing of trauma for the four children involved in the study, with children responding well to the therapeutic tools utilised. Findings offer preliminary support for manualised, trauma-specific play therapy intervention with maltreated children, with further research indicated to determine both effectiveness and efficacy.