The objective of this research was to establish what the influence of gestalt group playtherapy on the self-esteem of primary schoolgirls in a children’s home would be. The goals of the research were to build a knowledge basis by means of a literature study and consultation with experts in the field. The aim of this knowledge basis was the needs and developmental characteristics of the middle childhood years, the characteristics and problems encountered by the children’s home child, to assess by means of an empirical study what the influence of gestalt group playtherapy on the self-esteem of the child in the middle childhood years in a children’s home would be and the nature and scope of gestalt therapy. The study also had the further aim to make recommendations for the use and appropriate application of social workers working in the field of children’s welfare, especially the children’s home. For the empirical study the dominant-less-dominant model was used. The dominant data collection measure that was used, was of the quantitative kind with a small component of qualitative study to support the last mentioned quantitative investigation. Six respondents were identified and engaged in eight group playtherapeutic sessions. Applied research was used as the researcher aimed to find a solution for the problem of low self-esteem in specific children, namely the primary school child in the children’s home. The research resorted under the sub-category of intervention-knowledge-development. This type of research focuses on the practical application of research. The research design that researcher utilized, was the quasi-experimental design where one group pretest-posttest was being used. This design is useful to assess how an independent variable would influence a specific group. The data collection methods used were questionnaires, unstructured observation and the study of respondent’s case records. Empirical data results indicated the following: - the child in a children’s home has weak self-esteem; - the child in a children’s home has problems binding with the peer group; - respondents could already identify and regulate emotions in themselves and understand that emotions are not always correctly observed and interpreted in others; - respondent were very negative towards the children’s home and their committal to the home; - gestalt group playtherapy has a significant influence on the self-esteem of the above mentioned child. The research lead to specific recommendations addressed to parents, teachers, social workers and housemothers aiding them regarding the improvement of a child’s self-esteem.
Dissertation (MSD (Play Therapy))--University of Pretoria, 2005.