VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Creative Metaphors of Life Experiences Seen in Play Therapy
Marilyn S. Snow, Ruth Ouzts, Erin E. Martin, and Heather Helm
Creativity begins in childhood, and it is through the creative process of play that children bring objects to life, recreate their environment, and develop a sense of self. In play, children often communicate their experiences through the use of metaphors. Counseling children using play therapy enables the counselor to experience the many metaphorical expressions demonstrated in play themes. Through metaphorical communication, children can reveal their concerns, demonstrate their desires, express their emotions, gain a clearer understanding of their experiences, and create solutions to problems. In many cases, children communicate with the counselor using only the figurative language of metaphors. Yet, children are able to make exceptional changes in their lives and to demonstrate resilience in their coping abilities.