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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972On-line version ISSN 1678-7153


VIEIRA, André Guirland  and  SPERB, Tania Mara. Symbolic play and the narrative organization of the child's life experience. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2007, vol.20, n.1, pp.9-19. ISSN 0102-7972.

The present work studies the narrative and the image as elements of the language of symbolic play. With this objective a child was observed during approximately one year while in a psychotherapeutic process. The child's symbolic play in the sandplay was analyzed concerning narrative organization and construction of meaning based on Jung's Analytical Psychology theory and method, and Bruner's narrative theory. The study shows that symbolic play is a form of language, and through it the child constructs a text that presents itself as a narrative or as an image; that this text is filled with cultural elements which show themselves as new narratives or images that mix with the ones the child had constructed. Also, it shows that the child organizes his/her life experience and that of the world by means of this text; that the narratives produced by symbolic play are similar to those produced by the cultural history of mankind; and, finally, that symbolic play has a cognitive function of organizing the child's life experience.

Keywords : Narrative; image; symbolic play; Analytical Psychology; sandplay.

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