Thursday, December 25, 2008

Play therapy, deuxième édition

As you will remember from yesterday's session, play therapy is a tried and true therapeutic modality in which disturbed children or adults are able to engage deeply felt emotions by enacting homicidal fantasies inner feelings, without causing actual harm to themselves or others. In a supervised setting, a client plays with toys (play-houses, pets inanimate objects, dolls, etc.) to express experiences and feelings through a natural, self-guided, self-healing process.

But come now. Yesterday's little pièce de théâtre? That's not really what happened. Let's give this supervised playing thing one more chance. We didn't really give it a whole-hearted try. We think expateek may have been holding back a little.

Because, you see, play therapy is more than just playing with dolls.

One approach to treatment is for play therapists use a type of systematic desensitization or relearning therapy to change disturbing behavior, either systematically or in less formal social settings.
Disturbing behaviour? Oh please, expateek would hardly call anything she does disturbing. Strange? Sure, a little. It's all in how you interpret things. Don't the words "motive" or "just cause" mean anything to you people? These two simple concepts explain much of expateek's mysterious play behaviours.

These processes are normally used with children, but are also applied with other pre-verbal, non-verbal, or verbally-impaired persons, such as slow-learners, or brain-injured or drug-affected persons.
Drug-affected?? Could that mean all the Scotch?
Mature adults usually need much "group permission" before indulging in the relaxed spontaneity of play therapy, so a very skilled group worker is needed to deal with such guarded individuals.
Readers Reader? Put up your hand now if you're willing to pose as a very skilled group worker. Jaywalker? Anyone? Good. Thank you. We can now continue with the play therapy.

Many mature adults find that "child's play" is so difficult and taboo, that most experienced group workers need specially tailored "play" strategies to reach them. Competent adult-group workers will use these play strategies to enable more unguarded spontaneity to develop in the non-childish student.
So. The take-away? We're looking for UNGUARDED SPONTANEITY here.

Coming right up, on a plate!

Because, oh no! Look what's happened!

To celebrate his own promotion to l'archiduc du monde d'électricité,
French boss of the bad news has decided to go out
for a Christmas holiday brunch.
He has decided on a très chic new fusion restaurant,
La Feuille Morte,
in the 16th arondissement in Paris.

This is the newest, hottest dining experience in town.

And what has he ordered?

Well, the starter is a tangy mélange of fresh dill,
yew sprigs,
and poinsettia leaves,
topped with fire-roasted snowberries.
For drinks? Oh, pour some fresh yew-berry juice too.
Just the trick to kick off a festive holiday dinner.

Time to enjoy oneself
and think of those less fortunate around below one,
who may or may not be able to enjoy their suppers quite as much as oneself,
due to all the uncertainty in their sad little lives.
Ah well. Tant pis.
C'est la vie,
as we love to say in la France.
Et bon appetit!

expateek, ever the lovely and solicitous dinner companion chimes in...

Here, have another bite, mon ami. It looks delicious...
Oh, no thank you! expateek never usually has a starter.
Watching the waistline, don't ya know.
What's that?

Your throat?

Something's wrong with your throat? It's closing up?

Why, this is terrible! Let me call the waiter.

Excuse me... Garçon? Garçon?
Gosh, these French waiters!
They think they're better than everyone else,
and it's so hard to get their attention.

Excuse me, Garçon! Please, can you come over here?
I think we may be needing an ambulance. Un ambulance?
Gad, I'm so forgetful with my French vocab.
Maybe it's les pompiers? Firemen?
Really, I should revise more often.
Let's see... Mon ami est malade.

He's sick and ... oh dear, well he's really not moving now, is he?

Not moving at all.

Does he have a pulse?
No? Hmmm. That's a pity.

These damned experimental cook-stylists!
They just don't do their homework anymore.
I mean, even my cat knows not to eat the poinsettias. Jeebus.

You know what, Garçon? I'm not very hungry after all.
Suppose you clean up this mess, and I think I'll be on my way.
Just send the bill for his dinner to The Company.
He's dining on an expense account, so it's no problem.

Au revoir! Ta ta!


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