Graduate School

Deb Vilas Teaches Child Life via Skype to Japanese Hospital Play Specialist Students

Posted by Dara Eisenstein on March 12, 2012

Deb Vilas Teaches via Skype

On February 15, 2012, Deb Vilas of the Child Life Program was a guest lecturer for the second time (last year it was two weeks before the earthquake) at the University of Shizuoka, in Shizuoka City, Japan. Through the marvelous use of Skype, she led a class of Hospital Play Specialist students in a hands-on therapeutic play activity, the making and exploding of volcanoes.

During this activity, Professor Chika Matsudaira translated while Deb lectured on how to reach angry or withdrawn children in the hospital environment through play. The students were highly interactive and responsive, and they shared that the activity caused them to feel "joyous", “empowered" and "in touch with their own emotions." They also shared that although in Japan, politeness and obedience are highly valued in children, that as a new generation, they also see the value of children expressing their feelings through play.