These principles emphasise the importance of a practitioner being able to use a comprehensive range of play and expressive art therapy skills - a "Play Therapy Tool Kit" which will enable the therapist to follow the child's lead
The eight Axline Principles:
- Must develop a warm and friendly relationship with the child (Warm and friendly: Good rapport)
- Accepts the child as she or he is.
- Establishes a feeling of permissiveness in the relationship so that the child feels free to express his or her feelings completely.
- Recognises the feelings the child is expressing and reflects these feelings back in such a manner that the child gains insight into his/her behavior
- Maintains deep respect for the child's ability to solve his/her problems and gives the child the opportunity to do so. The responsibility to make choices.
- Does not attempt to direct the child's actions or conversations in any manner. The child leads the way, the therapist follows.
- Does not hurry the therapy along. It is a gradual process and must be recognised as such by the therapist.
- Only establishes those limitations necessary to anchor the therapy to the world of reality and to make the child aware of his/her responsibility in the relationship.
* Axline was influenced by the person centered approach of Carl Rogers. She is recognised as the originator of non directive Play Therapy.