Effects of Childhood Cancer and Hospitalization on Preschool Aged Children: Benefits of Play Therapy and Movement Therapy

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Graham, Abigail N.
Child Life – Play Therapy – Movement Therapy – Pediatric – Oncology – Psychosocial – Hospital – Creative Arts – Development
Child life departments have been prominent in most children’s hospitals to provide psychosocial care for children experiencing time in a hospital environment. This presentation will demonstrate the impact of Child Life intervention in pediatric oncology as well as promote new ideas for movement/dance therapy child life programming. New methods for healthcare therapies have been rapidly increasing especially in cancer treatment centers. The creative arts have been implemented into pediatric hospitals as a form of therapy for children and families undergoing treatments. The overview of play therapy and its developmental significance it provides for preschool aged children is essential to understand why it is important to have in an environment such as the hospital. Play therapy is a new and upcoming type of therapy that focuses on helping children understand and deal with issues triggered from being hospitalized. Through play and the creative arts children are able to cope, portray their fears and anxieties, and have a sense of normalization. Children’s hospitals use this technique to help children cope with their illnesses in and outside of their time in the hospital. New perspectives on play therapy and ideas on how to tie in movement/dance therapy to greater benefit the child life department are offered through this research.