chapter  3
24 Pages

The Play Room—Furnishings and Equipment

ByMortimer Schiffer

In activity type, noninterpretive group therapy practices with children, the setting is no less subject to the requirements of specialization than are the technics of the practitioner. The setting is an integral part of the clinical process; the size and shape of a play room, the furniture, equipment, and the play materials, are desiderata which have meaningful relationship to the interaction in the group. For the purposes of therapeutic group practice, used furniture is better than new. The term "valence" may be used to measure the potential an item possesses for inducing communication, which is of fundamental importance in experiential, activity-type therapeutic processes. For children finger paints have a sublimating value also in that, through their use, smearing and messing become channelled into more acceptable social expressions. The types of craft materials which are suitable for play groups are governed by interest, age, and sex of the children.