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Title: Experts in play : exploring the development and use of play-based evaluation methods in facilitating children's views of non-directive play therapy
Author: Jäger, Jessica
ISNI:       0000 0004 2720 875X
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2010
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Aims This study investigates the use of play-based evaluation methods, developed by the author, in non-directive play therapy practice. A review of the child therapy literature demonstrates that there has been limited development of child-centred methods to ascertain children's views. Whilst there has been development of appropriate methods for gathering children's views in other settings, these do not fully translate to the complex setting of therapeutic interactions. The study aims to record children's views of play therapy as expressed through play-based evaluations; explore their use as a new method and, finally, explore what conditions are needed to fully facilitate children's exploration and sharing of their views when using play-based evaluations. Methods The study employs a qualitative methodology utilising video observation as a less intrusive method for data collection of the children's views that are expressed during play-based evaluation. The videos are analysed in two main ways: to record the children's views and to explore the process between therapist and child during the interaction. Pre- and post- questionnaires are used to gain information regarding the children in the study and the therapists' perceptions. Utilisation of computer-assisted software, visual methods of analysis and in-depth micro-analysis of video observation are combined to create an innovative and thorough methodological approach. Exciting new methods of visual representation are employed to present the findings in a way that respects the need for participant anonymity whilst allowing the reader greater access to the non-verbal processes described. Conclusions The study shows that play-based evaluation techniques are important and flexible methods for facilitating children's views of child therapy. The study shows how therapists take different approaches to delivering the sessions. It is argued that those therapists who incorporate their therapeutic skills effectively, maintain flexibility and sensitively attune to the child during the session, enable the child to explore their views more fully.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available