Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies


Expressive Therapies


Tomoyo Kawano


This review of the literature explored expressive therapies informed treatments for children who have experienced trauma in order to identify a healing mechanism within each treatment that was related to play. Patterns and commonalities in the research were documented in order to better understand the mechanism of play that appeared to be healing for the youth. The goal was to identify the elements within the mechanism as individual resources that could be applied in therapeutic interventions when treating traumatized youth in an effort to improve their lives and move them towards healing. This exploration also pointed to the importance of play as an essential aspect of childhood development, which traumatized youth often miss. Play is a part of an imperative and natural process of exploring the world in order to strengthen cognition, emotional wellbeing, and physical health. While there is a great deal of research relating to traumatized youth, their symptoms, and their treatment, there is less written about the role of play in these treatments. This exploration reveals that the healing mechanism of play is tangible, and at work in many of the interventions offered to traumatized youth. Furthermore, there is an identified need for this mechanism to be implemented in various environments, programs, and schools where traumatized youth are being treated.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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