The research dealt with three girls in middle childhood years, in a children’s home, who were experiencing difficulties with self-blame. These difficulties were addressed through play therapy sessions using the ‘gestalt’ approach with the life story book as an aid. The motivation for the study originated during discussions with the social workers at the Abraham Kriel/Maria Kloppers Children’s Home. During these discussions the researcher became aware of the vast number of children in the caseloads of the social workers at Abraham Kriel/Maria Kloppers Children’s Home, who blame themselves for being removed from their parents’ custody. The purpose of the study was to determine whether the life story book could be used as an aid in play therapy sessions focussing on the self-blame of girls in middle childhood years, living in a children’s home. To achieve the goal of this study, a literature study was done regarding the middle childhood years, self-blame, the child in a children’s home and the use of the life story book in play therapy. An empirical study was conducted on the use of the life story book regarding the self-blame of three girls in the middle childhood years, living in a children’s home. Finally the researcher made conclusions and recommendations regarding the use of the life story book, after taking into consideration both the literature study and the empirical study. The investigation was based on applied research. For the purpose of this study, three girls in middle childhood years living in a children’s home were identified by means of purposive sampling. The girls participated in six play therapy sessions each. From this empirical research, it was clear that the life story book could be successfully used in play therapy, focussing on self-blame, with the three girls in middle childhood years living in a children’s home. As an outcome of this study, conclusions and recommendations were formulated.
Dissertation (MSD (Play Therapy))--University of Pretoria, 2006.