Assignment: Play Therapy Journal
Assignment: International Journal Of Play Therapy
Reply to the posts of two peers in this discussion. You may share insights you have related to your peer’s application of research concepts or ask a clarifying question. You may choose to comment on how the article presented both peer’s posting with at least two references.
1sr Peer Posting
Introduction: The qualitative research study that was used for this discussion post, is a narrative research study in that it looks at the way that children process grief after the death of a loved one, using pictures and storytelling. Sheperis, Young, & Daniels describe narrative inquiry as, at it’s base level, “a good story”, and see it as a useful tool to help the counselor to understand the lived experience of a person using storytelling, autobiographies, oral histories, memories, personal documents, etc. (2009, pg. 151). The Stutey, Helm, LoSasso, & Kreider study sought to determine the lived experience of a child who had recently suffered the loss of a close family member, in order to further understand the differences in the way children experience grief and loss versus adults, and also as a way to further inform the effectiveness of photo-elicitation in the field of grief counseling for children.
Sample: The study selected participants who had replied to a flyer posted in several mental health agencies in a “western state in the United States”, which was asking for children to participate in a grief study and who fulfilled the following criteria: they were already involved in counseling so as not to re-traumatize the children and ask them to re-experience that loss; were between the ages of 6-10; and who had lost a loved one in the last 3 months to 2 years (Stutey, Helm, LoSasso, & Kreider, 2016). The authors only ended up using 4 children for this study, despite wanting to include more children, because of the overlap that they saw in the patterns displayed by the children and the ability to generalize to the broader age group. The participants were all Caucasian and had suffered the loss of a sibling, parent, or grandparent.
Method: The study began by having the researchers get informed consent from the parents/guardians to participate in the study and a verbal agreement from the child that they wanted to participate. During this initial session, the researchers played games with the children individually to build rapport and put the child at ease, while their partners were explained the purpose of the study and the instructions that would be given before the data would be collected. The child was then given a disposable camera and the direction to, “please take pictures of anything that reminds you of your loved one who died or that will help me understand how things have been for you since they died” (2016). The parents were then given an stamped and addressed envelope and asked to send the camera back in one week. Once the pictures were developed the researchers scheduled a semi-structured interview with the children and their parents/guardians, where the child was asked about their pictures, why they took them, and they were able to debrief at the end of the interview by putting their pictures into a memory book to keep. The interviews were voice recorded and transcribed and coded by each member of the researcher team to prevent researcher coding bias.
Findings: The study found that, consistent to current research into the developmental differences in the communication skills of children versus adults, children were unable to verbalize the emotions that they felt about the loss of the loved one, but that they were very willing to talk about the loved one who had died and the pictures they took held very clear emotional connections between them and the loved one. The ability to use photo-elicitation alongside narrative therapy techniques allowed the child to show their lived experience of losing a loved one in a way that talk therapy by itself never could. The researchers showed that photo-elicitation is an effective technique to be used in grief therapy with children.
Differences: The narrative approach used in this study is different than the other types of qualitative research that was discussed in the textbook, such as grounded theory, in that it does not look to develop or “prove” a new theory by collecting and analyzing data from a variety of sources (Sheperis, Young, & Daniels, 2009). It uses storytelling, and verbal reports and interviews in order to get a better feel for a clients actual experience towards a phenomenon in their life. Grounded theory does not rely on self-reports or storytelling as much due to the focus on systematic analysis of data and the goal of developing a new theory.
Sheperis, C. J., Young, J. S., Daniels, M. H. (07/2009). Current View: US Counseling Research: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods, 1st Edition. [Bookshelf Online].
Stutey, D. M., Helm, H. M., LoSasso, H., & Kreider, H. D. (2016). Play therapy and photo-elicitation: A narrative examination of children’s grief. International Journal Of Play Therapy, 25(3), 154-165. doi:10.1037/a0039956