Play & Creativity in Psychothera
Play & Creativity in Psychotherapy
Terry Marks-Tarlow, Marion Solomon, and Daniel J.
Reviewed by Henry Reed
To some of us, the ability to play is the number one
symptom of being healthy and alive. Impediments to being able to play are
psychological indicators of stress, inhibition, and less than ideal functioning.
It's hard to believe. We are such an achievement oriented society. Play seems
irresponsible. That's ignorance and prejudice speaking. That a professional book
needs to come out and state to psychotherapists that play is healthy is a sure
symptom of distress in the psychotherapy industry. Ever since health insurance
has taken over psychotherapy, the need to document treatments, hour by hour,
against progress made in being productive, has shrunk the shrink industry's
sense of its own intuitive guidance. Instead, they orient to the paperwork--how
shall I document today's treatment?
This book is full of professional, scientific, practical
information regarding the crucial importance of play in being well and healthy,
resilient to challenges. It stands in objective contrast to the opinion that
playing is a waste of time. I encourage readers to check out the table of
contents to discover the various specific ways in which play therapy can make a
We claim that the doctors don't do the healing, nature
does. What the doctor does is to prepare the patient for nature's operation.
Play can be very ambiguous, hard to pin down into elements of labor producing
elements of progress or production. We look to outcomes, and ignore the process.
For some adults, discovering that they can indeed play comes as a healing shock.
Freedom from the jail of shoulds and expectations. If nature is to do the
healing, then the patient must play, for nature plays.
When therapists philosophize, and speculate about the
eternals of human existence, rather than the practicalities of today's
challenges to behaviors and habits, the eternal verities return to the
discussion. True, we need to eat in order to live, but we don't live in order to
eat--we live to play! Everyone is born ready and feeling entitled to explore
what life brings out in them as they play along. Unfortunately, the grown ups
have been spoiled and begin to spoil the kids. That will provide future income
for psychotherapists. Health insurance going out the window, we'll need a new
basis for supporting psychotherapists who wish to save us through play!
Seriously, though, no playing around, these folks are
making important suggestions regarding the importance of play. Buy a copy and
send it to your insurance company! Therapists would love to play with you; they
just have to document it and rationalize it in order to get paid. This book will
help a lot!
To explore Play and Creativity in Psychotherapy at Amazon.com, click
From the Publisher (Norton):
1. Deer, Chicken, Hunting Dogs, and the Future of Humankind by Mihaly
2. A Closer Look at Play by Stuart Brown and Madelyn Eberle
3. Play and the Default Mode Network: Interpersonal Neurobiology, Self, and
Creativity by Aldrich Chan and Daniel J. Siegel
4. How Love Opens Creativity, Play, and the Arts through Early Right-Brain
Development by Allan Schore and Terry Marks-Tarlow
5. Play, Creativity, and Movement Vocabulary by Pat Ogden
6. A Cross-Cultural and Cross-Disciplinary Perspective of Play by Theresa
7. Creativity in the Training of Psychotherapists by Louis Cozolino
8. Awakening Clinical Intuition, Creativity and Play by Terry Marks-Tarlow
9. Trauma, Attachment, and Creativity by Paula Thomson
10. Resonance, Synchrony, and Empathic Attunement: Musical Dimensions of
Psychotherapy by Victoria Stevens
11. Playing with Someone Who Loves You: Creating Safety and Joyful
Parent-Child Connection with Theraplay by Phyllis B. Booth, Dafna Lender,
and Sandra Lindaman
12. PLAY and the Construction of Creativity, Cleverness, and Reversal of
ADHD in our Social Brains by Jaak Panksepp
13. Nesting Dolls: A Playful Way to Illustrate a Valuable Intervention in
Couples Therapy by Marion F. Solomon
14. Rage, Comedy, and Creativity in Theater by Jonathan Lynn
15. Rage Underlying Humor in Psychotherapy by Rita Lynn
16. Developing Resilience with the Improviser's Mindset: Getting People Out
of Their Stuck Places by Zoe Galvez and Betsy Crouch
17. Cultivating Curiosity, Creativity, Confidence, and Self-Awareness
Through Mindful Group-Therapy for Children and Adolescents by Bonnie
18. The Power of Optimism by Steve Gross