These principles are directly quoted from Virginia Axline (1969) Play Therapy. They are the long-standing essentials of non-directive play therapy, however the word “therapist” in each statement has been changed to “parent” to help children grow to be psychologically and emotionally healthy.
- The Parent must develop a warm, friendly relationship with the child, in which good rapport is established as soon as possible.
- The Parent accepts the child exactly as he is.
- The Parent establishes a feeling a permissiveness in the relationship so that the child feels free to express his feelings completely.
- The Parent is alert to recognize the feelings the child is expressing and reflects those feelings back to him in such a manner that he gains insight into his behavior.
- The Parent maintains a deep respect for the child’s ability to solve his own problems if given an opportunity to do so. The responsibility to make choices and institute change is the child’s.
- The Parent does not attempt to direct the child’s actions or conversation in any manner. The child leads the way; the Parent follows.
- The Parent does not attempt to hurry the therapy along. It is a gradual process and is recognized as such by the Parent.
- The Parent establishes only those limitations that are necessary to anchor the therapy to the world of reality and to make the child aware of his responsibility in the relationship.