Being Mindful of ‘Kindfull’ Play: Empathy-Building Play Therapy

It is not a surprise that we have heard much stirring in the last several years about the importance of empathy and its role in everything from attachment, to neural development, to world positivity. There is an empathy shortage in the world, and we are seeing the far-reaching effects.

 

Bullying. Violence. Insensitivity. Selfishness. In practice, we often see the damage done with children who are traumatized because of early life experiences characterized by a lack of empathy. Abuse, neglect, emotional bankruptcy, painful attachments and a violation of trust all contribute to a child’s ability or disruption in naturally cultivating this inherent trait….

 

(Steps to teach empathy)
 

Modeling …

Sensory words and Practices…

Dolls, Puppets and Faces!…

Bibliotherapy…

Nature Niceness …

Caregiver Compassion …

 Share Your Self …

 

By Cherie L. Spehar, MSW, LCSW, CTS, Play Therapy