This research was conducted with the goal of exploring the existing perceptions of black parents regarding play therapy. The researcher was motivated by the tendency of black parents not to bring their children for play therapy even though they had been referred. A theoretical framework was obtained by doing a literature study on perceptions, play and the role of play in development. A theoretical base for play therapy was also provided. An empirical study was conducted on a sample of seven black parents who were selected by means of purposive sampling. The sample was selected from a population of parents who had brought children for play therapy to Child Abuse Treatment and Training Services and to the Trauma Clinic of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation in Johannesburg. A qualitative approach was utilized whereby semi-structured interviews were conducted and recorded on an audiotape. Interviews were later transcribed for analysis and interpretation. The researcher used Tesch’s approach to analyse the data. The findings of the study indicated that black parents who brought their children for play therapy were aware of the value of play in the development of children. The study also brought more questions to the researcher’s mind, such as “How do those parents who were non-compliant perceive play therapy?” “Why are parents not bringing their children for play therapy after being referred?” Future research could be conducted to answer these questions. The researcher’s conclusion is that black parents who brought their children for play therapy did not understand what play therapy is, however they all understood the value of play in child development. Parents perceived play therapy as a helpful intervention method for counseling children as a result of positive feedback from relatives and suggestions by referring professionals. There is a need for awareness campaigns and through these awareness campaigns black parents will be made aware of the value of play and play therapy for children. As a result more black parents might bring their children for play therapy and more troubled children might be provided with the opportunity to express their feelings through play.
Dissertation (MA (MW) (Play Therapy))--University of Pretoria, 2006.