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International Journal of Play Therapy
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The quarterly International Journal of Play Therapy® is a peer-reviewed journal with  scholarly articles about current play therapy research, case studies, theoretical applications, current practices.

Produced each January, April, July, and October.   

Available on PsycNet, and its articles archived by APA.


January 2017, Vol. 26, No. 1

Treating The Tiers: Play Therapy Responds to Intervention in the Schools                         (Winburn, Gilstrap, & Perryman, 2017)

In this conceptual article, the authors explored the potential of play therapy as a school-based intervention for children who are experiencing behavioral difficulties within the K-12 school setting. A model is presented describing the use of play therapy within the Response to Intervention (RtI) model at the Tier 2 and Tier 3 level. This article explores the RtI model and how play therapy can be incorporated by school counselors or school-based play therapists using individual and small group sessions.

Even Adults Need to Play: Sandplay Therapy with an Adult Survivor of Childhood Abuse     (Doyle & Magor-Blatch, 2017)

In this qualitative design, research article, the authors utilized a case-study design and examined the efficacy and perceived efficacy of sandplay therapy for a 52-year-old woman who presented to a university psychology clinic with a range of difficulties stemming from her childhood abuse. Mixed results were found, with some of the client’s symptoms reducing (i.e., depression and stress symptoms), other symptoms remaining stable (i.e., posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, dissociation), and one worsening (i.e., anxiety); however, overall, the client’s measured psychological well-being increased after sandplay therapy. The findings of this study support the theoretical aims of sandplay therapy, and contribute to the field of research on the efficacy of sandplay therapy with adult populations.

Culturally Responsive Play Therapy with Somali Refugees
(Killian, Cardona, Hudspeth, 2017)

In this conceptual article, the authors describe the utility of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) with Somali refugee children. The article provides therapists with an accessible and multiculturally sensitive approach that seems a natural fit for working with Somali refugee children and make the case that CCPT’s underlying tenets are a potential starting place to begin to address Somali refugee children’s specific needs. The authors explain how the role of Islam, collectivist views, gender roles, cultural taboos, and toy selection all affect the way clinicians can connect with this population.

Intensive Short-Term Child-Centered Play Therapy and Externalizing Behaviors in Children
(Ritzi, Ray, & Schumann, 2017)

In this article, the authors examined the effectiveness of intensive child-centered play therapy with children identified as having disruptive behaviors. Participants were recruited from public schools in the urban area of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia area. The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the CBCL Teacher’s Report Form (TRF) were completed 3 times: at pretest, posttest, and 1-week follow-up. Results of factorial ANOVAs indicated significant improvements. Therefore, both parents and teachers indicated that children with externalizing behaviors who received intensive CCPT showed a significant decrease in those behaviors.

Nature-Based Child-Centered Group Play Therapy and Behavioral Concerns: A Single-Case Design
(Swank, Cheung, Prikhidko, & Su, 2017)

In this single-case design research study, the authors investigated the effectiveness of nature-based child-centered group play therapy (NBCCGPT) with early elementary schoolchildren exhibiting behavioral problems. Children were randomly assigned to either a treatment or wait-list group. The children in the treatment group participants demonstrated improvements ranging from debatable to effective with increasing on-task behavior and decreasing total problems. Additionally, the treatment group demonstrated more improvement with increasing on-task behaviors.


Clinical Editor
Edward Hudspeth, PhD, LPC, RPT-S
Associate Dean of Counseling Academics, COCE
Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH

    © 2016 Association for Play Therapy, Inc.