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The play interview as a social work technique in a child guidance setting : an analysis of five individual play interviews with children with adjusted problems conducted by social workers in the Provincial Child Guidance Clinic of Vancouver. MacKenzie, Budd Cumming

Abstract

This is a descriptive study of play interviewing as done by Social Workers in a Child Guidance Setting, when play is used in the treatment of children with adjustment problems. The purpose of the study is twofold: 1. To demonstrate that the play interview as a social work technique is a valid part of social work practice when conducted within defined limits. 2. To identify and examine the realized and potential diagnostic and treatment features inherent in the play interview. This study contains a review of social work philosophy, concepts, principles and techniques, (formulated as a basis for viewing the play interview) a survey of the salient literature on play techniques (dealing with theoretical assumptions about the value of play as a tool in treatment) an analysis of five Individual social work play interviews. The fourth chapter contains a discussion of the findings of this study in relation to the implications of related studies focused on social work contributions to the services of the Provincial Child Guidance Clinic of Vancouver. This study complements six previous studies done on other aspects of child guidance practice by social workers at this clinic and discusses its relatedness to these studies throughout. In order to reach the major objectives of this study two schedules were employed in the analysis of the play interview recordings. A schedule of 13 social work interviewing methods drawn from Social Work literature by Glover and employed by Glover and Moslin in their studies on casework treatment methods was employed to identify interviewing methods utilized in the play interview. The second schedule made up of seven diagnostic and treatment features, drawn from the literature on play techniques. Twelve of the thirteen social work interviewing methods were identified in the play interviews thus demonstrating the similarity of the play interview as a social work technique to it's counterpart the social work interview. These findings support the findings implicit in Glover's study; that most social work interviewing methods are identifiable in play interviews. A second schedule made up of diagnostic and treatment features drawn from the survey of the literature on play techniques was applied; for the purpose of identifying diagnostic and treatment features inherent in the play interview and support or point up any contra-indications to the first hypothesis, that the play interview is a valid part of social work practice. Six of the seven diagnostic and treatment features were identified in the play interview records. These features were then matched with their counterparts or equivalents in the social work interview. These findings further demonstrated that the play interview is similar to and just as much a valid part of social work practice as the social work interview. This study thus provides a glimpse of the treatment potential of the play interview as a valid part of social work practice and points up the value of extending and developing the use of play interview as a social work treatment method. Conversely this study (by comparison) illuminates the richness of the treatment potential of the social work interview per se.

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