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Searching for the Self: An exploration of the use of hide-and-seek games in primary school aged children who display behaviour indicative of attachment difficulties, through a series of non-directive play therapy sessions, from an attachment perspective.

By January 1, 2015No Comments

This study aims to explore how children use of hide-and-seek games within individual non-directive play therapy sessions and how these may have a possible correlation with changing internal working models of attachment.
Three research methods were employed:

1. The researcher’s observational notes on session content.
2. Symptoms of Attachment Difficulties? checklist (Douglas, 2014)
3. Creative works made by the sample children in early and later play therapy sessions.

The sample comprised of 13 children; between four and eleven years old; from both genders and varied ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds; who played hide-and-seek games in a minimum of at least one play therapy session; engaged in a minimum of 12 individual play therapy sessions; and before starting play therapy scored as having attachment difficulties? in the Symptoms of Attachment Difficulties? checklist (Douglas, 2014).

Overall results found trends in how the sample children used hide-and-seek games within individual play therapy sessions in terms of type, timing and frequency. Findings also demonstrate an overall decrease in signs of attachment difficulties in 11 out of the 13 sample children, demonstrating the majority of sample children showed signs of a positive shift along the continuum of attachment. These results are suggestive of a correlation between the use of hide-and-seek in play therapy and the positive shifting of internal working models of attachment in these children.