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Birch, M. (1997). In the Land of Counterpane: Travels in the Realm of Play. Psychoanal. St. Child, 52:057-075.

(1997). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 52:057-075

In the Land of Counterpane: Travels in the Realm of Play

Marian Birch

Using illustrations from the treatment of a three-year-old girl, a case is made that imaginative play between therapist and young child is not only a legitimate but often a preferable medium for therapeutic intervention. The displacement and magical thinking characteristic of the child's play are seen as creative and developmentally appropriate modes of thought, rather than as primarily defensive. By making her person available to be played with, the therapist facilitates a rich intersubjective exchange which permits the child to explore otherwise anxiety-provoking feelings, roles, and relationships.

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