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ISSN : 2233-6710(Print)
ISSN : 2384-2121(Online)
Journal of Asia Pacific Counseling Vol.2 No.2 pp.175-186

The Relationship Between Language Use and Thematic Play Themes over the Course of Child Psychotherapy

Mina Cho, Young Seok Seo, Chang H. Lee

Yonsei University
Sogang University
Received May 5, 2012, Revision received July 19, 2012, Accepted August 5, 2012


The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine child’s verbal expressions through language use and nonverbal expressionsthrough play themes in the course of therapy sessions. A single case was used for providing in-depth descriptions of how theclient’s language style and play themes actually changed during therapy and contributed to effective therapeutic outcomes.Results from this study revealed that there were changes in language use patterns and thematic plays over the course of 30therapy sessions. Significant patterns of some variables in the Korean Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (KLIWC) program,especially psychological dimensions could be found. These variables were: emotion/affect process, cognitive process, negativeemotions, sensation/perceptional process, physical states/function, and bodily symptoms. Also, several moderate correlationsbetween play themes and language use emerged. Implications for counseling practice and future research are discussed.