Dr Diana Shmukler, clinical psychologist, professor of psychotherapy and supervisor, is teaching a programme this summer (18-25 July) at the Oxford University Summer School for Adults on Play, Imagination and Humour: Pathway to Creative Living. The programme encompasses childhood, play theory, storytelling, myths, legends, and psychological games, and extends to play in the workplace and in co-operative environments.
The course description says: ‘Our tendency to play is understood as central to our nature, and linked to curiosity and exploratory motives. Playing is associated with the positive effects of joy, excitement and pleasure. Research shows the cognitive, emotional and social benefits to children. Psychoanalysts link play to the ability to distinguish subjective from objective reality, the inner and outer worlds, with a far-reaching appreciation of arts and culture. Beyond the therapeutic value, the importance of playing extends to understanding others, with a useful place in the modern work environment.’
The programme promises to be hugely stimulating and enjoyable, creating connections between so many different fields. I recommend it for coaches and supervisors who want to set aside a week in the summer to broaden their mental and creative horizons by exploring the intrinsically human aspects of play and imagination.