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First, E. (2010). Playing Who We Are Together: Commentary on Henry Kronengold's “Hey Toy Man”. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 9(1):25-32.

(2010). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 9(1):25-32

Playing Who We Are Together: Commentary on Henry Kronengold's “Hey Toy Man”

Elsa First

The two-year treatment of a girl, aged 6–8, as described in Henry Kronengold's “Hey Toy Man,” was conducted mainly through patient-led, but co-constructed dramatic play. Co-constructed here is meant to convey that it was improvisational and sometimes a reciprocal, even spontaneous, improvisation. Often the girl controlled the therapist, insisting on her story, while therapist tried to introduce ameliorative changes in the storyline. The therapist did not verbally interpret the play. The contribution of this commentary is a close study of the two-person dramatic play sequences, in line with theoretical interests in play in child treatment and co-construction as a lens on the adult analytic process. How did the sequences evolve? What may have been communicated and have been therapeutic in and through the playing itself? What relational dilemmas were explored or evaded? What implicit realizations and mutual recognitions may have occurred? Was there also disowning of unwanted self states and experiences in the play? The child's perceptions of the therapist's counter-transference is one line of interest. Perspectives from psychoanalytic field theory (Baranger, M. & Baranger, W. (2008), Ferro, A. (1999) are applied.

[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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