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Athanassiadou, E. Giannakopoulos, G. Kolaitis, G. Tsiantis, J. Christogiorgos, S. (2012). Preparing the Child Facing Surgery: The Use of Play Therapy. Psychoanal. Soc. Work, 19(1):91-100.

(2012). Psychoanalytic Social Work, 19(1):91-100

Preparing the Child Facing Surgery: The Use of Play Therapy

Eftychia Athanassiadou, George Giannakopoulos, Gerasimos Kolaitis, John Tsiantis and Stelios Christogiorgos

Early psychoanalytic reports suggest how surgery can arouse children's unconscious fears and fantasies about the anticipated assault on their body. Psychological preparation programs seem to help in preventing the negative effects of surgery and in dealing with other potentially traumatic experiences in the future. Most of these programs have focused mainly on the cognitive-behavioral level and less on the emotional part of the experience. Puppet play seems to provide an opportunity for expressing and mastering common children's concerns such as confinement, abandonment, fear of punishment, and the feeling of helplessness. In addition, puppets can be used effectively by children for the projection of unpleasant feelings or fantasies. This function is further facilitated by modeling as the therapist models for the child that the verbalization of feelings is acceptable. A relevant manual-based semi-structured intervention is discussed here.

[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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