“The Procedure of Play: Helping children who have experienced hospitalization, medical procedures, frequent medical care, or chronic illness using medical play therapy.”
Hospitalization, medical procedures, frequent medical care or chronic illness can cause children an increased potential for psychological trauma, demonstrated by anxiety, aggression, anger, and similar expressions of emotion. Within this, there is a need for children to be given some form of control in their healthcare process that is age appropriate and conducive to treatment. Children often lose freedom when they are patients in the medical setting and this increases their need for emotional containment, which can be provided by medical play therapy. By means of therapeutic medical play therapy, research indicates that children can be helped emotionally, and therefore educationally, psychologically, and personally. Medical play therapy in any form, with any issue, seeks to restore the balance of valuing children in society today by giving them respect, a voice, and a place of safety within their healthcare experience.
Dr. Julie Lerwick (PhD, LPC, NCC, RPT)
Dr. Lerwick holds a PhD in Counseling from Oregon State University and is a Board Certified (NCC) Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Play Therapist (RPT). Her research, conducted at Oregon Health & Science University Department of Neurological Surgery, was in pre-operative anxiety reduction using a play therapy intervention. Honors and awards during her doctoral studies include the National ACES Emerging Leader Award, joining the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and earning the Summa Cum Laude academic distinction. She completed her Master's degree at George Fox University and Bachelor's degree at Puget Sound Christian College. In addition, Dr. Lerwick serves at local universities as a part-time professor of counseling and psychology, is an approved clinical supervisor for Oregon licensee candidates, and enjoys mentoring beginning counselors. She maintains a clinical practice in the greater Portland area at Northwest Psychological Center, P.C. and although she welcomes all ages into her practice, she especially enjoys working with toddlers and teens!
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