Between Philosophy and Therapy: Understanding Systemic Play Therapy through Embodied and Enactive Cognition (EEC)
This paper will explore the relationship between Systemic Therapy, which integrates play with objects in its dialogical repertoire with a philosophical account of an Embodied and Enacted Cognition (EEC) and its understanding of pretend play. We will first describe aspects of systemic dialogical practice, followed by an example from the therapeutic room that showcases one effective approach of the practice that involves play. Then, to explain the success of this play approach, principles of the EEC will be introduced together with a new understanding of pretence play as an embodied and sensorimotor activity. Finally, how the theory applies to the success of the play therapy will be exemplified. The paper ends with possible relevance and future impact of this novel understanding of cognition to systemic dialogical approaches and other therapeutic practices. We suggest that there is a clear advantage to collaboration between therapists and philosophers.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: May 1, 2014
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