Let's Go Outside: Nature-based Play Therapy through the Lens of Cultural Humility
Updated: Mar 4, 2022
Dr. Meyleen Velasquez author of the fourth chapter in Nature-based Play & Expressive Therapies called, Let's Go Outside: Nature-based Play Therapy through the Lens of Cultural Humility. This chapter looks at the ways therapists can use cultural humility to guide decision-making in the process of nature-based play therapy. Cultural humility is a process that is ongoing throughout the journey of life and it is something that helps therapists in working with diverse populations by being able to recognize biases, power dynamics, and culture-specific needs in the therapist-client relationship. If therapists do not implement an
anti-oppressive and anti-racist practice, they might unintentionally contribute to further marginalization of minority populations. It will, therefore, be important when clinicians introduce nature into the play therapy space, to be able to understand the client's lived experience and have a willingness to follow the child's lead. This chapter presents a case-vignette of an 8-year-old named Jose and his healing journey from physical abuse and immigration-related separation from his mother using nature as a tool for healing and transformation.
Dr. Velasquez says, "Cultural humility has been an integral part of my development and growth as a clinician and human. I hope my chapter supports clinicians in continuing to build cultural curiosity and a lens towards social justice."
Dr. Meyleen Velasquez is a psychotherapist specializing in perinatal and infant mental health and play therapy. Her practice supports young children, individuals identifying as women, and clinicians practicing from an anti-oppressive framework. In the past, she served as President of the Florida Association for Play Therapy and Chair for the Florida chapter of Postpartum Support International. You can learn more about her work RIGHT HERE.
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