My Kid Changed, a TV program that shows the process of improving child’s erroneous behavior, is famous for the effects of various methods to educate children. The Sookmyung Times (SMT) asked about play therapy to Cho Min Jung (CHO) who studies for the master’s course in play therapy.
▲PHOTOS BY SH
SMT What is Play Therapy? What is the specialty of play therapy compared to other therapies for children?
CHO Play Therapy is a treatment for children through play. Compared to adults, children are not skilled at expressing their emotions in words. Sometimes it can be hard for them. On the other hand, play is one of the natural and amusing parts for children. Children become the main agent of the play. Therapists support child’s play, do not lead the play. Play Therapy is a kind of client centered therapy. In other words, Play Therapy does not follow fixed process. In this reason, play therapy is highly focused on individuals.
SMT Play therapy in Sookmyung Women’s University is very famous. What makes Sookmyung Play Therapy special and prominent?
CHO There are many graduate schools that educate play therapy. Some schools focus on theory and studies, and some schools focus on education. Especially, Sookmyung Play Therapy greatly focuses on practice. Most theoretical classes also aim for practice. Professors have plentiful practical experiences. Thus, student could get hands-on experiences from school.
SMT There are some kind of negative views on having mental treatment or counseling. Is it same in Play Therapy? What do you think about this point of view?
CHO Yes, it is same in Play Therapy. There are still prejudices. Parents also want to keep their
children from eyes from society. I think it is sad that prejudice make parents whose child is in
need of treatment hesitate. However, I think it is a problem of understanding. Recently, TV programs such as Parents 60minutes, and My kid changed have introduced many kinds of treatments and approaches to children. More people are beginning to understand and recognize those approaches. It is supporting children and complementing parents’ education. Throughout this improvement of cognition, it could be more generalized.
SMT How can be a good play therapist?
CHO I think the role of therapist is helping child. Play therapist assist child in expressing their inner side and perceiving various situations. From this process, children learn how to deal with problems and regain mental stability. Therefore, first of all, ability to understand child’s mind is necessary. Secondly, comprehensive understanding about child’s development, play, pathology and counsel is also essential for play therapist. Play therapists should have expertise in various ways of play. Most of the play therapists in Korea have master’s or doctor’s degree in Psychology, Pedology, or Social Welfare Studies.
Cho Min Jeung
Graduated in the Department of Consumer and Family Science at SungKyunKwan University
Current: Studies for a master’s degree in play therapy at Sookmyung Women’s University.
Assistant administrator at KAPT. Intern at MINDSPCE psychotherapy Research Center
Children who can have play therapy
- Unperceiving children
- Children who have difficulty mixing with their peer group
- Children with autis
About The Korean Association for Play Therapy (KAPT)
KAPT presents certificates and holds academic conferences. KAPT also takes charge of monthly case-study presentations.