CONJOINT family therapy is generally a very inclusive form of treatment. It is significant, however, that young children rarely participate in it. Bell1 justifies the exclusion of young children by emphasizing that those under 9 cannot adequately partake in verbal interchange—the mainstay of family treatment. Of the major conjoint therapists, only Satir 2 makes a point of including children between the ages of 4 and 6—but she does not elaborate on their manner of interaction during the sessions.
Therapy involving the young child with his parent has been reported, however, in other circles. Axline,3 Moustakas,4 Fraiberg,5 Schwarz,6 and Furer7 all utilize the parent in the playroom primarily as an adjunct to their play therapy for the child, while Russo8 includes the parent in the playroom for purposes of behavior therapy.*
This paper reports on a method of conjoint therapy which
SAFER DJ. Conjoint Play Therapy for the Young Child and His Parent. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;13(4):320-326. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01730040030006