Play Therapy History

Posted By Brie Austin In Category: Blog , Kids , Offsite Articles

Play therapy history is not something I went looking for on my own. Being a staff researcher and writer for Inicia Incorporated, I come across a lot of subjects for which I had not been aware, such as the recent topic (Play Therapy) I co-researched and co-wrote an article about the theory, history and practice of Play Therapy.

Play Therapy games

Play Therapy History

Play Therapy is a psychotherapy that uses play to unlock a child’s inner emotions. Sometimes it deals with a trauma they’ve experienced. The concept of Play Therapy — to my surprize — actually dates back to ancient Greece, when Plato (429-347 B.C.) noted that “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation”.

It wasn’t however until Sigmund Freud — who is known as the father of modern psychology — began his analysis of Little Hans (who suffered from severe phobia) that the concept of playing entered the professional arena of therapy.

Corresponding regularly with Hans’s father, Freud recommended that he take note of the boy’s play for insights to the source of the phobia. And it was Freud’s daughter, Anna, who took it a step further when she formally recognized that by watching a child play that a therapist could gain access to the child’s inner emotional world, and began uses the method in her work.

Others began to take notice, and since then, beginning in the 1930s, therapists have embraced, developed and evolved different approaches to play therapy through the decades. Today, play therapy is a deep-rooted practice among modern therapists.

You can read the full article and history about play therapy at



About Brie Austin

Co-author of I'd Do It Again, he is a columnist/reporter for a variety of magazines in the areas of music, lifestyle, nightlife, travel and business. He also writes business documents and creates copy for websites.

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