Highly practical, instructive, and authoritative, this book vividly describes how to conduct child-centered play therapy. The authors are master clinicians who explain core therapeutic principles and techniques, using rich case material to illustrate treatment of a wide range of difficulties. The focus is on nondirective interventions that allow children to freely express their feelings and take the lead in solving their own problems. Flexible yet systematic guidelines are provided for setting up a playroom; structuring sessions; understanding and responding empathically to children's play themes, including how to handle challenging behaviors; and collaborating effectively with parents.
I. Background and Relevance
1. The Importance of Play
2. A Brief Overview of Play Therapy
3. History, Theory, Principles, and Variations of Child-Centered Play Therapy
II. Logistics and Techniques
4. Playroom Set-Up and Logistics
5. The Four Skills of Child-Centered Play Therapy
6. Recognition and Interpretation of Play Themes
III. Parent Involvement
7. Engaging Parents and Teachers in Child-Centered Play Therapy
8. Filial Therapy
IV. Practical Applications and Issues
9. Child-Centered Play Therapy with Different Presenting Problems
10. Handling Select Child Behaviors and Special Circumstances
11. Touch in Child-Centered Play Therapy
12. Cultural and Systemic Considerations in the Practice of Child-Centered Play Therapy
V. Research and Professional Issues
13. Research on Child-Centered Play Therapy and Filial Therapy
14. Developing Competence in Child-Centered Play Therapy
"A practical guide for beginning and experienced child clinicians. This book is unique in the depth of its coverage of the essential ingredients of child-centered play therapy, from how to set up a therapy room to recognizing and interpreting play themes and setting limits with child clients. The authors seamlessly share their wealth of knowledge and expertise, offering a generous mix of applications and rich case studies. They tackle such important issues as the use of touch in therapy, cultural considerations, and research evidence for play therapy. This well-rounded and easy-to-read work is a 'must have.'"
-Athena A. Drewes, PsyD, RPT-S, Director of Clinical Training, Astor Services for Children and Families, Poughkeepsie, New York
"Finally, a book that teaches and illustrates the essential 'how-to' details of child-centered play therapy (CCPT)! The approach is presented in such a comprehensive, explicit format that whether you are a beginning play therapist or an experienced practitioner or professor, the book has tremendous value. Drawing on their vast knowledge of the field, the authors address the importance of the relationship, how to work with parents, and practical applications for children with a wide variety of psychological difficulties. Using detailed case studies, they show how CCPT can enhance anyone's play therapy style. This book is a 'must' for teaching CCPT and should be on the shelves of all therapists interested in using play to help children heal."
-Heidi Gerard Kaduson, PhD, RPT-S, Director, The Play Therapy Training Institute, Inc., Hightstown, New Jersey
"This book provides excellent explanations of the critical skills that therapists need to practice CCPT. It presents a well-conceptualized discussion of common themes that children present in play therapy, and strategies for understanding and utilizing these in the treatment process. It also offers an excellent discussion of the application of CCPT to a variety of common problems, as well as how to handle difficult behaviors in session. Both graduate students and seasoned play therapists will find this book significantly expands the way they think about one of the most widely practiced forms of play therapy."
-Kevin O'Connor, PhD, RPT-S, Distinguished Professor, California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University
Risë VanFleet, PhD, Family Enhancement and Play Therapy
Andrea E. Sywulak, PhD, private practice, Southampton, PA
Cynthia Caparosa Sniscak, LPC, private practice, Carlisle, PA
Foreword by Louise F. Guerney, PhD, RPT-S
--- from the publisher