Objective: To present several examples that illustrate the effectiveness of play interventions in a hospital context facilitated by child life specialists and other health care providers. Clinical Presentation and Intervention: Specific examples include children between the ages of 4 and 10 with serious illnesses (cancer, cystic fibrosis, heart disease) and those having experienced the death of a loved one. Interventions include child-directed play as a therapeutic modality. Conclusion: The opportunities afforded by play and creative arts for self-expression, mastery, and control are of paramount importance for children experiencing the anxiety or psychological trauma often associated with a serious illness or with the death of a loved one.

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