It is most likely that the majority of you have chosen a destination by the water: sea, lake, pool, and maybe a hot tub. It is not a coincidence that most people associate water with tranquility, relaxation, and mental half , but do we know why?
Water is an essential part of our lives, as without it there simply will not be any life at all. All mammals, birds, and reptiles start their lives in water, the fetus develops inside the womb and is protected by amniotic fluid, 70% of our bodies are water, and our brains are 85% water! That is probably the reason why in most creation myths the world was created out of water. Consequent upon our connection with water, that starts in the womb, touching water affects us in various ways. One effect is the creation of a channel to the subconscious, through which a lot can be learned about the child’s inner world. By using this approach a lot can be achieved, including: healing of emotional difficulties, anxiety reduction, social skills enhancement, creativity and thinking skills development, etc., all without even entering full body into the water, but only dipping the hands! As a result of the discovery of the positive effects water has on us, the therapy method of Water Play Therapy was created, and it is founded upon two approaches: Art therapy and Play therapy This form of therapy was experimented in developing countries in Africa, and constitutes a simple way to treat trauma and reduce anxiety and stress.
The method was developed over a decade ago, during a clinical experiment in therapy through expressivity and creation, which included dozens of children that went to therapy for different reasons. All the cases were observed, documented, and analyzed. My conclusions after years of water therapy are all written in my book “Rising on Water”.
On a small water table a water tank, crayons, Plasticine , plastic animal figures, and other materials are placed. The children use these instruments to create a “water- world”, which allows them to express themselves, create, share, and go through psychological processes.
The structure of the therapy includes five stages, and in each session a small aquarium is created in a box, which is kept until the following session.
This method is applicable in emotional therapy, done individually or in a group, and can be a great foundation for psycho-educational processes of emotional intelligence development in kindergartens of all demographics, and all stages of child development.
The treatment is done in small groups with instructions given by the kindergarten teachers or their assistants. The group sessions help developing social skills, confidence, problem solving skills, and creativity. Moreover, individual treatments, done with only one child, are also a possibility. In an individual treatment there is emphasis on issues regarding the child’s emotional world, such as: emotional and physical regulation, introvertedness and abstention, anxiety, communication difficulties, ADHD, etc.
“Water is a principle or an element, all things. All things are water”
(Thales of Miletus)
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