Can psychotherapeutic interventions be introduced in a playful manner to families and children affected by HIV / AIDS? Working from an ecosystemic worldview, this dissertation undertakes an investigation into the possibilities of working with HIV / AIDS affected children and families in South Africa in a playful manner in psychotherapy. Through a process of co-creating and reflecting, the narratives of four psychotherapists are used to describe their experiences of playfulness and psychotherapy with HIV / AIDS affected persons. These narratives are presented against a background of a research literature discussion of HIV / AIDS and play in therapy. It is argued that playful psychotherapeutic interventions with HIV / AIDS affected children and families are possible, given four criteria. Firstly, the basic resource requirements, food, clothing and transport, of the children and family members must be in place before emotional needs can be adequately addressed. Secondly, children should be allowed in the therapeutic space with the rest of the family. Thirdly, psychotherapists should be trained to make psychotherapy more child friendly. Lastly, these therapists should be willing to engage in a playful manner with their clients, and not fall prey to the stigma of HIV / AIDS.
Dissertation (MA (Counseling Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2006.