Child-Centered Play Therapy

Child-Centered Play Therapy

by Rise VanFleet, Andrea E. Sywulak, Cynthia Caparosa Sniscak

ISBN-10: 1606239023

ISBN-13: 9781606239025

Pub. Date: 09/03/2010

Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.

"Child-centered play therapy (CCPT) is a powerful, empirically supported approach that allows children in distress to freely express their feelings and take the lead in solving their own problems. This practical, instructive, and authoritative book offers a complete overview of CCPT: what it is, why it works, and how to conduct it with clients. The authors are

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"Child-centered play therapy (CCPT) is a powerful, empirically supported approach that allows children in distress to freely express their feelings and take the lead in solving their own problems. This practical, instructive, and authoritative book offers a complete overview of CCPT: what it is, why it works, and how to conduct it with clients. The authors are master clinicians who concisely explain core therapeutic principles and techniques, using vivid case material to illustrate the concepts discussed." "The introductory section presents essential background information, comparing and contrasting CCPT with other widely practiced play therapy approaches. Part II takes a closer look at the nuts and bolts of intervention. Flexible yet systematic guidelines are provided for setting up a playroom, structuring sessions, and understanding and responding empathically to children's play themes. The role of parents in therapy is covered in Part III. Chapters demonstrate the process of consulting with parents, involving them in treatment, and helping them interact with their child in more productive ways. Part IV offers insights into treating a broad range of child and family difficulties, including anxiety disorders, trauma, divorce, and attachment problems. Other key topics include how to deal with challenging behaviors in session, maintain appropriate boundaries, collaborate effectively with other professionals, and develop competence for working with culturally diverse clients. Rounding out the volume, Part V distills the evidence base for CCPT and describes recommended training resources." Rich with clinical wisdom, this accessible guide is invaluable reading for play, art, and expressive therapists; child psychologists; social workers; counselors; family therapists; and child psychiatrists. It is a highly informative supplemental text for clinically oriented graduate-level courses.

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Product Details

Guilford Publications, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
2 - 12 Years

Table of Contents

Part I. Background And Relevance

Chapter 1 The Importance of Play 3

What Is Play? 3

Play and Child Development 6

Changing Trends in Children's Play 7

Assumptions about the Therapeutic Use of Play 8

Chapter 2 A Brief Overview of Play Therapy 11

Types of Play Therapy 13

Why Play Therapy? 18

Chapter 3 History, Theory, Principles, and Variations of Child-Centered Play Therapy 20

Building the Relationship 21

Acceptance of the Child 23

Establishing a Sense of Permissiveness 25

Empathic Recognition and Reflection of Feelings 26

Respecting the Child's Ability to Solve Problems 30

Letting the Child Lead the Way 32

Treating Play Therapy as a Gradual Process That Cannot Be Hurried 37

The Importance of Limits 38

Variations of CCPT 41

Part II. Logistics And Techniques

Chapter 4 Playroom Set-Up and Logistics 45

Playroom Set-Up 47

Principles of Toy Selection 49

Toys for Older Children 52

Messy Materials 53

Controversy about Aggression Toys 54

Arrangement of Toys 55

Logistics 56

Explaining CCPT to Children 58

Chapter 5 The Four Skills of Child-Centered Play Therapy 59

Structuring 59

Empathic Listening 65

Child-Centered Imaginary Play 75

Limit Setting 78

Are You Really Being Nondirective? 86

Chapter 6 Recognition and Interpretation of Play Themes 88

Recognition of Play Themes 89

Critical Considerations in Understanding Play Themes 90

Thematic Stages in CCPT 90

Levels of Interpretation 92

Understanding Play Themes in Context 94

Common Play Themes 99

Suggestions about the Interpretation of Play Themes 99

Documentation of Themes and Progress 100

Part III. Parent Involvement

Chapter 7 Engaging Parents (and Teachers) in Child-Centered Play Therapy 105

Introducing Parents to CCPT: The Importance of Empathy 106

Establishing Treatment Goals 108

Handling Parental Resistance 109

Regular Meetings with Parents 112

Handling Behavior Issues 114

Preventing Behavior Problems 118

Helping Children with Their Feelings 119

Handling of School Issues 121

Other School-Related Issues 123

Confidentiality and Consent to Treatment 124

Summary 126

Chapter 8 Filial Therapy 127

The Value of FT to Children 128

The Value of FT to Parents 129

Conducting FT 132

The Importance of Training in FT 133

Where to Get Training in FT 134

Other Sources of Information about FT 135

Part IV. Practical Applications And Issues

Chapter 9 Child-Centered Play Therapy with Different Presenting Problems 139

Anxiety 140

Divorce 143

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder 146

Developmental Disability 147

Attachment Problems 148

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder 151

Perfectionism/Obsessive Compulsive Disorder 154

Medical Illness 157

Severe Trauma and Attachment Problems in Adolescents 159

Acute Trauma 162

Oppositional Defiant Disorder 163

Summary 166

Chapter 10 Handling Select Child Behaviors and Special Circumstances 167

Bossiness 167

Bad Words 169

Cheating 172

Very Withdrawn Behaviors 173

Aggression 175

Does Acceptance in CCPT Open Pandora's Box in Daily Life? 180

Therapist Discomfort 181

Chapter 11 Touch in Child-Centered Play Therapy 182

The Role of Touch in CCPT 183

Risks of Touch in CCPT 186

Special Considerations for Traumatized Children 188

Informing Parents and Documenting Touch in CCPT 191

Chapter 12 Cultural and Systemic Considerations in the Practice of Child-Centered Play Therapy 192

Cultural Relevance 193

Misunderstanding of CCPT by Other Professionals 195

Pressures for Quick Results 196

CCPT with Children in Foster or Protective Care 199

Using CCPT in Conjunction with Directive Play Therapy Approaches 202

Using CCPT in School, Hospital, OT Home-Based Settings 204

Adaptability 206

Part V. Research And Professional Issues

Chapter 13 Research on Child-Centered Play Therapy and Filial Therapy 209

Sources of Knowledge about Therapeutic Methods 209

Summary of Empirical Support for CCPT and FT 213

Chapter 14 Developing Competence in Child-Centered Play Therapy 217

Training 217

Supervision 219

Resources Available 221

Credentials 222

Conclusion 223

References 225

Index 231

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