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Sinason, V. (1988). Dolls and Bears: From Symbolic Equation to Symbol the Significance of Different Play Material for Sexually Abused Children and Others. Brit. J. Psychother., 4(4):349-363.

(1988). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 4(4):349-363

Dolls and Bears: From Symbolic Equation to Symbol the Significance of Different Play Material for Sexually Abused Children and Others

Valerie Sinason

Finding that a significant number of children were unable to touch or play with the standard doll families and animals available, the therapist brought into the therapy room large and ordinary sized dolls and teddy bears (black, white, baby, teenaged). To her surprise these were quickly used to reveal and explore incidents of sexual and physical abuse. This led her to the conclusion that children who have experienced concrete attacks need different material to help them regain their capacity to symbolise. In this paper she focusses on the meaning of the new toys for two children in particular. She now includes a range of different-sized dolls as standard equipment for all children and adolescents and comments on their applicability.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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