10-3 | The Physical Environment for Play Therapy with Chinese Children

Article

The Physical Environment for Play Therapy with Chinese Children

Yih-Jiun Shen, Sylvia Z. Ramirez, Peter L. Kranz, Xinhua Tao, and Yuanhong Ji

Abstract:

The growing interest in addressing the mental health needs of Chinese children through play therapy calls for an understanding of the cultural roots and norms of Chinese families. To help professionals succeed in this traditionally Western treatmen when providing cross-cultural play therapy, the authors make recommendations concerning the location and appearance of the play therapy facility, including its waiting room and playroom. They discuss the need for carefully introducing play therapy to Chinese parents and suggest Western and Chinese toys and play items that are therapeutically appropriate for Chinese children. The authors also propose an outdoor play area based on the therapeutic rationales of contemporary neuropsychology. With this culturally sensitive discussion, the authors seek more effective play therapy not only for the children living in Chinese societies—mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan—but also in countries with major Chinese child populations. Key words: outdoor play; physical settings for play; play and Chinese children; play and neuropsychology; play therapy; toys and Chinese children