6-3 | Clinical Intuition at Play


Clinical Intuition at Play

Terry Marks-Tarlow


A clinical psychologist and consulting psychotherapist discusses how elements of play, inherent in the intuition required in analysis, can provide a cornerstone for serious therapeutic work. She argues that many aspects of play—its key roles in human development, individual growth, and personal creativity, among others—can help therapists and patients alike tap into matters unique, salient, and vital to analysis. She recommends therapists take advantage of this intuitive aid play offers by experimenting with embodied perception and response through the use of guided imagery. Creating a sense of play in clinical conditions, she holds, makes it safe for patients to try out new ways of feeling, thinking, being, and behaving, all of which can lead to a deeper self-awareness and to healthy change. Key words: clinical psychology; guided imagery; play in psychotherapy; self-awareness