As a research-informed play therapy model, it is important that we stay current with the latest research on play, neuro-biology, mindfulness, etc. We are in the process of conducting our own research studies on various aspects of Synergetic Play Therapy™ particularly regarding its ability to help clinicians with compassion fatigue.
Lisa Dion and Kaylin Gray did extensive research that was published in 2004 on “The Impact of therapist Authentic Expression on Emotional Tolerance in Synergetic Play Therapy.” This appeared in the International Journal of Play Therapy. 23(1), 55-63 (see below for abstract).
1.) International Journal of Play Therapy. 23(1), 55-63.
To date, there is little research on therapist authentic expression with children. The closest explorations of this topic are studies conducted regarding therapist self-disclosure (Capobianco & Farber, 2005; Ginsberg, 2011). No published research has directly addressed the impact of expressing present thoughts, feelings, and body sensations in response to the child client’s stories and play. With new research on neurobiology, this article explores how therapist authentic expression in play therapy might be a helpful component in expanding the clients’ emotional windows of tolerance. Literature on pertinent aspects of self-disclosure, authenticity, and windows of tolerance is reviewed. This article introduces a study exploring the impact of therapist authentic expression on expanding a child’s emotional window of tolerance in Synergetic Play Therapy. Results indicated that there was a statistically significant increase in the percentage of emotionally tolerant behaviors in response to authentic therapist expressions from the first to third play therapy sessions. Also, the entire sample displayed full integration of emotions (100% emotionally tolerant behaviors) by their fifth session. Implications of these findings and for future research are outlined. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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2.) An Examination of Adlerian Play Therapy and Synergetic Play Therapy
Johanna Simmons from Vancouver, a trained Adlerian and Synergetic Play Therapist has published a paper demonstrating the similarities between these two models of play therapy in the Canada Association for Play Therapy’s Playground magazine.