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Play therapy in Malaysia
Play therapy in Malaysia

Play Therapy in Malaysia

Introduction to Play Therapy:

Play therapy for children is like counselling for adults. Due to children's limited cognitive function, they express emotions through creative play activities. They play out what bothers them inside, like we adults seek counselling to deal with our emotional hurts and wounds.

In early 1900, play therapy was first documented by S. Freud in his "Little Hans" case, in which a 5-yr-old boy had phobia for horse. He was being treated by Freud who instructed the father to have play time at home with the son. Apparently, the boy was "healed" later on through play therapy!

Since, play therapy has developed by Anna Freud and later by Axline to become Child-Centered Play Therapy in 1947, and spreaded through USA, and to the East. Malaysia has her humble beginning in 2000.

Along with play therapy and family therapy, there are Dr. L. Guerney's and Dr. R. VanFleet's Filial Therapy, Dr. G. Landreth's and Dr. S. Bratt's Child-Parent Relationship Training (CPRT), the teaching and training of parents to strengthen their parent-child relationship through play therapy techniques. Mr. Ng has learnt CPRT under Dr. Garry Landreth's supervision while studying at UNT.

Play Therapy Development in Malaysia 

In 2000, Mr. Andrew Ng after being trained by Dr. Garry Landreth, the founder and professor at the Center for Play, North Texas University in 1990, pioneered play and sandtray therapy in Malaysia and helped Agape set up the first play and sandtary therapy service in the country. Dr. Daniel Sweeney was among the honourable guest who officiated the opening of that department in 2001. It was through the effort of Mr. Andrew Ng and Ms. Lisa Sum, the Head of Sandtray and Play Department, who helped promote play and sandtray therapy throughout the country since 2000, and with the invaluable contribution of both Dr. D. Sweeney and Dr. Linda Homeyer who acted as catalyst in advocating play and sandtray therapy in Malaysia. They both visited Malaysia for a few occasions to provide training for our local mental health professionals.

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