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Deep Play

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  • Deep Play

    Posted by Barrett<script language="JavaScript1.3" type="text/javascript"> document.write(timestamp(new Date(1999,10,27,14,3,0), dfrm, tfrm, 0, 0, 0, 0)); </script> (Member # 67) on 27-11-1999 21:03<noscript>November 27, 1999 02:03 PM</noscript>:

    "In our play, we reveal what kind of people we are"
    Ovid A few years ago I read Diane Ackerman's "A Natural History of the Senses" and was struck by this writer's ability to get to the most familiar aspects of human existance in an astounding variety of ways. Her newest book, "Deep Play" accomplishes the same thing but focuses upon the way we come to know and express ourselves through the activities we choose.
    Ackerman defines "deep play" in three ways: 1)A state of unselfconscious engagement with our surroundings 2)An exalted zone of transcendence over time 3)A state of optimal creative capacity
    Through examples ranging from extreme sports to simple meditation, Ackerman demonstrates that the spirit of play (spontaneity and discovery) lies at the heart of human learning and creativity. When we are willingly overwhelmed by this and invite it into our life and work, a certain wildness emerges. At times like that, ideas are alluring and impulsive, unpredictable and outside the box of most guidelines and protocols. No wonder the power structure within the workplace or the profession doesn't encourage play.
    But when deep play is described in this book, I see the essence of therapeutic methods that continue to both confound and entice those of us in therapy willing to live with the ambiguity that the human body and disability offers us. We remain intrigued with Feldenkrais, Bobath, and, I hope, my own method called Simple Contact. I don't think the strict McKenzie practitioners would be included here. I especially note the reference to a "transendence over time" in the definition. I wrote specifically of this in an essay entitled "Timeless" which you can find on my web site.
    This book described a way of being I often find at work. In fact, I find it there more often then elsewhere in my life, and for that I'm grateful to have chosen the path I'm on.
    Ackerman quotes Abraham Maslow; "The great lessons from the true mystics, from the Zen that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one's daily life.
    Understanding this, I can see how deep play emerges during moments when I am in the presence of a patient as they learn and change and find relief. I know such moments include my unselfconscious engagement, that they are timeless in nature, and that much of my creativity is dependent upon them. When therapy does not include any of this for the therapist, it must be a pretty long day. Maybe they should read this book.
    The book is "Deep Play" by Diane Ackerman (Random House 1999)
    Last edited by bernard; 30-12-2005, 06:16 PM.
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. L VINCI
    We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. I NEWTON

    Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not a bit simpler.
    If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein