On a surface level, I am dealing as a therapist with difficult family dynamics and children effected by them. At the next level, I am aware and focused, when a young person is in the room, on the emergence of character structure before musculature has been patterned, molded and congealed to create the illusion of safety while effectively but sadly holding back essential life force. This patterning along with difficult life events and accompanying painful narratives is what usually brings adult clients into my practice.
A Reflection on the Writing of Subcutaneous, Subcortical, Subconscious and Subterranean: The Most Toxic Boy in the World’s Search for Mum.
When Dennis first approached me to write a chapter on ‘Deep Play’, I experienced a gamut of emotions from my initial feelings of delight and I must admit some pride, which very quickly gave way to apprehension and concern that my writing style may give me away as being neither an academic, nor a story-teller. Once I managed to recognise these feelings as my own childhood scripts I was able to harness them and regulate my growing unease, which allowed the feelings to abate; this was old-stuff. Relieved of these constraints I set about the task for which I had been assigned; to consider the notion of ‘Deep Play’.
“I set out wanting to compile and edit a book called, “Deep Sand – Exploring a Body Centered Approach to Psychotherapy with Children”, with chapters by various therapists who used a deep sandbox as part of their work with children and that embraced some version of a somatic oriented approach, not necessarily mine. This immediately became a problem as there were very few therapists I could find who used a deep box. (Why this is so could be the subject of another book.) So I modified the book’s theme to that of considering the idea of depth in general, i.e. the idea of embracing body, mind, psyche, instincts, all in the context of play.
Nancy Eichhorn, PhD, offers readers a personal and in-depth review of Deep Play: Exploring the Use of Depth Psychotherapy with Children. The chapters in this startling book highlight the power of presence in play, in imagination, and in relationship.