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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 2018, Vol. 27, No. 1

Reality Play Therapy
(Stutey, & Wubbolding, 2018)

Many children benefit from play therapy interventions because they are developmentally appropriate, allow children to speak in their native language of play, and are given freedom and control in the playroom to work through problems at their own pace. Reality Therapy is also grounded in the idea that freedom and control are important aspects to explore for optimal client growth. In this article, we propose integrating Reality Therapy with Play Therapy. We provide specific information on Reality Play Therapy activities and a case example to highlight how this might look in the playroom.

Exploring the Experiences of Play Therapists Working with Children Diagnosed with Autism
(Overley, Snow, Mossing, Degges-White, & Holmes, 2018)

The present study used a phenomenological design to explore the experiences of play therapist utilizing CCPT with children diagnosed with autism. Ten interviews were conducted with registered play therapists and registered play therapist-supervisors who utilize CCPT with children diagnosed with autism. The data analysis indicated three major themes and eight sub-themes. The 10 participants expressed that while there are challenges working with children diagnosed with autism, the benefits were primarily the environment, the therapeutic relationship, and their role as the therapists when utilizing CCPT. The participants found these aspects of CCPT had the greatest influence in meeting the needs of children diagnosed with autism. Additionally, the therapists experienced the involvement of parents being of greater value with children diagnosed with autism compared to the involvement of parents with other clients.

Peer Feedback within a Play Therapy Course: A Qualitative Exploration
(Swank, 2018)

Feedback is an essential component of counselor development. In this study, the researcher explored the integration of a peer feedback model that involved live observation and peer feedback sessions within an introductory play therapy course. In this article, the researcher conducted interviews with six counseling students, who engaged in the model, to explore their perspectives about the peer feedback experience. The analysis revealed six broad, and two of the themes had subthemes. The researcher discusses the themes, and then presents the implications for training play therapists.

Psychopharmacology for Play Therapists  
(Marvasti, Wu, & Merritt, 2018)

In this article, we explain why play therapists should be familiar with the effects and side effects of psychiatric medications. Non-physician therapists are an important part of the "clinical team" in any inpatient or outpatient setting. Since the physician prescriber spends a relatively brief amount of time with a client, as opposed to the time spent with the psychotherapist, it is in the hands of the non-physician professionals to become proficient in discovering problems and unwanted effects of medications, and report it to the client's guardians and/or physician prescriber for re-evaluation. This article focuses on the side effects of medications commonly prescribed to children with psychiatric conditions, and we explain how play therapists may tailor their play therapy interventions to cope with the side effects of medications.

Part 2: A Qualitative Examination of Play Therapy and Technology Training and Ethics
(Altvater, Singer, & Gil, 2018)

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate clinicians' training and understandings about the ethics of technology in the playroom. Participants included 13 Registered Play Therapists (RPTs) and Registered Play Therapist Supervisors (RPT-Ss). The present study utilized semi-structured interviews and qualitative content analysis research methodology to complete data analysis. Results suggest a general lack of familiarity with standards and ethics and adequate training in this area, though most participants expressed prospective comfort with technological interventions if they received adequate training opportunities. Findings from the study yield implications for training opportunities and clinical interventions.

Theraplay® Impact on Parents and Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Improvements in Affect, Joint Attention, and Social Cooperation
(Howard, Lindaman, Copeland, & Cross, 2018)

The goal of the study was to evaluate Theraplay® using a sample of autistic children. Eight children diagnosed with mild to moderate autism participated in a two-week intensive Theraplay® intervention. Data for intervention measures revealed that both parents and children significantly improved across session according to the therapist evaluation. These finding suggest that as the intervention progressed both children and parents became better at interacting during the therapy sessions. Significant changes were observed in the MIM interaction tasks. The patterns of these findings lend support to the validity and usefulness of Theraplay® as an intervention for special-needs children. Future studies should utilize larger and more diverse samples.


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.