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An exploration of glimpses of children’s spirituality in Play Therapy.

By January 1, 2014No Comments

Piritual wellbeing and the development of children’s spirituality are included
within the holistic document of the United Nations Rights of the Child. The
World Health Organisation, in addressing the quality of life globally,
recognizes a spiritual dimension to life. There is a growing body of research
into children’s spirituality. However, there is a paucity of material within Play Therapy to enable spirituality’s inclusion within that holistic practice.

This study will explore glimpses of children’s spirituality as they are
manifested within Play therapy sessions. It is retrospective and based upon
process diary notes of child led non –directive Play Therapy sessions with
twenty-two children, aged between five and eleven years, of mixed ethnicity,
gender and social background, from six different primary schools. It is
phenomenological, in exploring the lived experience and narrative in recording
the story of those experiences, categorizing and reflecting upon them.
The literature review developed understanding of the key components of
spirituality, play, and psychological and therapeutic perspectives.
The researcher coined the term ‘GLISP’ to creatively express, in colour and
shape, experiences of glimpsing children’s spirituality and then developed a
tool to record the GLISPS in a GLISPLOG giving context and room for

The resulting evidence indicates that spirituality in all its diversity emerges in the context of a dyadic therapeutic relationship where play is child led and
authentic. Therefore the study offers:

  • a concept, the GLISP
  • a tool, the GLISPLOG
  • a model for Play Therapy intervention to support the development of
    recommendations for future study.