An ecosystemic approach to work with children who have witnessed violence in the home
This practicum focused upon ten children between the ages of three and twelve years who had been exposed to partner abuse. The majority were living in families headed by single-mothers, most of whom had never sought refuge in a women's shelter and for whom the violence had ceased between seven months and seven years prior to referral. The primary therapeutic modality was individual play therapy from an ecosystemic perspective. A number of objectives were accomplished as many of the children were able to communicate their feelings and experiences related to partner abuse, experienced a therapeutic environment that was safe, fun and supportive, and became increasingly self-confident. Responses varied, however, as the consistency of attendance and environmental support influenced the achievement of therapeutic objectives.