Helping Children Discharge Negative Aggression


  • Dennis McCarthy



discharge, pulsation, sandplay, filter, monster


This article examines the need for children in treatment to be able to discharge negative aggression and describes various means of helping them do so. Through case material and anecdote I focus on the capacity for dynamic play therapy to facilitate pulsation, obvious in the child’s play configurations and their bodies in movement. Every child I work with engages in the expression of negative aggression to some extent and this aggression is often in and of itself a significant component in solving the myriad problems they bring with them. This text is largely influenced by the work of Dr. Alexander Lowen as well as the thousands of children I have worked with.

Author Biography

Dennis McCarthy

Dennis McCarthy is a licensed mental health counselor in New York State with over thirty years experience working with children and adults. He was initially trained as a dancer and a dance therapist. He studied Bioenergetics for many years with Al Lowen and Anthony Rullo among others. He is the author of numerous articles as well as two books, “If You Turned into a Monster”…Transformation through Play: A Body-centered Approach to Play Therapy and Speaking about the Unspeakable: Non-Verbal Methods and Experiences in Therapy with Children, both published by Jessica Kingsley.
085-100 36133


How to Cite

McCarthy, D. (2022). Helping Children Discharge Negative Aggression. Bioenergetic Analysis, 19(1), 85–100.