The Graduate Review


Despite a plethora of therapeutic approaches utilized when working with children, there is still a need for empirically based, child-centered, developmentally appropriate methodologies. This research aims to provide a greater understanding of the use of action-based metaphors when working with clients in early to middle childhood, while integrating various treatment modalities. While there are a countless number of metaphorical possibilities, there is a lack of research with a focus on the specific use of animal metaphors in child therapy. This child-friendly integrative approach proposes that therapists adjust their current working model to see the client as a whole, while integrating techniques from several theoretical orientations, therefore dissolving the boundaries between approaches and increasing the effectiveness of treatment. This research will contribute to the field of play therapy, both theoretically and practically, as it synthesizes current explanations, demonstrates techniques though the use of a clinical case conceptualization, and provides a framework for applying action-based animal metaphors. Counselors can then utilize this as a guide when working with children.

Note on the Author

Tricia Gordon is currently a graduate student at Bridgewater State University perusing a M.A. in Psychology. Her research was completed under the mentorship of Dr. John Calicchia. Tricia received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Bridgewater State University in May 2016. She plans to continue her education in pursuit of a doctoral degree in a few years.

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