This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Dibs In Search of Self is an account written in the 1960’s by Virginia Axline, a renewed psychologist in the United Sates who pioneered the use of Play Therapy in her work. It is her narrative about a client named Dibs, a young boy from a very affluent family in New York. Dibs is an emotionally disturbed child who refuses to talk and engage in conversation at home and in school. He continuously isolates himself and has been very physical towards his sister and to his classmates. He is very withdrawn and exhibits anti-social behavior. His parents have given up on him and have labeled him as “mentally retarded”. Then Axline is brought in as the last resort to help Dibs. What follows is the account of a series of play therapy sessions that lasted for more than a year between Axline and Dibs. Using Play Therapy, Axline was able to help Dibs overcome his speech, thinking and social problems over time. In the end, Dibs developed into a well-adjusted, gifted young boy who possesses an IQ of 168 with the help of Axline’s technique. From this story, there are several things I have learned that I can use in my work as counselor. First and foremost, I should never give up trying. A case may be difficult, complicated or even hopeless at times but as Axline demonstrated, I just have to persist and be patient because the results in the end will be favorable or positive. Secondly, I should not push or rush the process to my client. Each person has his own pace, just like Dibs. Some are fast while some are slow in processing the things happening to them. I need to wait until the client is ready to go into the process of counseling or therapy. Forcing them to
everybody in the family.go into therapy might just be counterproductive since the client is not ready to engage in such a helping relationship. . All clients are different. He may speak of strange ideas and thoughts but as a counselor or therapist. when given the opportunity to express themselves without judgment. must be actively involved and responsible. most especially the parents. Instead. I have also learned from this book that for a therapy to be effective. Thirdly. The client may appear weird or even absurd at times. They just need to feel secure and safe in a relationship. Just because a parent feels that he or she failed in his child does not mean that he or she should be excluded from what is happening with the child. and then they can make decisions for themselves. they can be more self-reliant and capable of managing themselves. Dr. one very important lesson I have learned from the book is not to put any value judgment on a client’s thought or behavior. I should draw out from the client what is driving such a behavior or thought process. I should take as it is and never to render any judgment or place any value on it right away. Axline’s therapy has shown us that when children are treated as adults. I have also realized that even children are capable of self-regulation and self-healing as shown by Dibs. but some will appear more different than the others like Dibs. clients and their families must be willing to undergo such a process. For an intervention to be successful. Because it is when I am aware of a client’s thoughts and ideas that a deeper understanding of his issues and concerns will happen. A better understanding of his thoughts will lead into a better understanding of his behavior. including decisions involving self-improvement and change for the better.
I believe that a problem that is so rooted in the family system should be dealt with involving the whole family. Axline’s therapy.However. I find it unbelievable of a child to have such a deep and clear view of his emotions without having an intervention from the therapist. However. on how love. with the seeming simplicity and effectiveness of Dr. I don’t know if it was not just elaborately shared by Axline but there were very few instances of the family’s involvement in its own healing. . like a deeper probing of his rage or even an explicit direction from the therapist on how to deal with his emotions. But generally. It summarized the effectiveness of Play Therapy. There were many instances in the book when Dibs demonstrated his extreme anger and hate towards people who have hurt him. What if a child does not resolve that emotion by himself? What should the therapist do? I am also amazed at the rate Dibs’ family was able to change significantly even without an intervention from the therapist herself. Axline just patiently allowed him to express his emotions and eventually he was able to acquire a more positive outlook. acceptance and freedom can empower children to know and love themselves and other people. I have also some questions and concerns about this methodology. the book was a good read. except the meetings with the mother.