chapter  5
27 Pages

Clinical Programs in Schools, with Particular Reference to the Therapeutic Play Group

ByMortimer Schiffer

One of the reasons for lack of comprehensive data on psychotherapy of children in normal schools is the fact that many experiments were unrealistically implemented, and, as a consequence, proved to be short-lived. The first major separation of a child from his family takes place when he is registered in school. The nature of his adjustment during home-school transition and afterwards becomes a reasonable barometer of his future adjustment to group living. The therapeutic play group tolerates—even induces—regressive behavior, which, were it to "spill over" from the permissive setting to classroom, would meet with restrictions. A majority of young children who are referred because of emotional problems are also deficient in academic achievement. In elementary school, learning deficiencies are primarily in the basic subjects—reading and arithmetic. The concept of the school as a setting for clinical programs of psychotherapy is relatively foreign to parents' thinking, despite the increased sophistication shown by many of them in matters related to mental health.