What is it about?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I found that online play therapy sessions did not work well for many children. I was able to treat children and preteens outside in my backyard “office” over many months. This article reviews the experience and my observations of ways that play therapy changed in an outdoor setting. It discusses how privacy and communication shifted, as well as what I noticed about working outside with children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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Why is it important?

Connecting with children therapeutically can be challenging. This article highlights some shifts in treatment I noticed while working in an unusual setting for play therapy - the therapist’s backyard. The observations may help other clinicians as they think creatively about how to work with children under complicated circumstances.


Finding a safe space to treat children during the pandemic was very important to me. I found working outside energizing and effective. It has been so meaningful to be able to share this experience more broadly by writing this essay. I hope it captures some of the joy I find in working with children and helps others think creatively about child therapy.

Deborah Kadish

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Reflections on my backyard office., Psychoanalytic Psychology, December 2022, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/pap0000437.
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