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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.


October 2017, Vol. 26, No. 4

Enhancing Social Emotional Skills in At-Risk Preschool Students through Theraplay Based Groups: The Sunshine Circle Model
(Tucker, Schieffer, Wills, & Murphy, 2017)

This study, conducted across 6 preschool sites in the Midwestern United States, was the first to examine empirical outcomes against a control group for this program. Students in these teacher-led, play-based groups improved significantly compared with controls in social-emotional skills, behavioral regulation, problem-solving, and fine motor control. Specific improvements occurred in domains of managing feelings, cooperation, accepting limits, peer interactions and friendships, and solving social problems. Furthermore, structured teacher observation measurements yielded data indicating improvement in teacher classroom performance. Interviews with teachers confirmed that the intervention subjectively increased classroom cohesion, improved teacher–student relationships, and improved overall classroom behavior.

Impact of Adlerian Play Therapy on Externalizing Behaviors of At-Risk Preschoolers
(Stutey, Dunn, Shelnut, & Ryan, 2017)

In this single-case design study, 4 at-risk African American preschool children ages 3–5 participated in 7 weeks of Adlerian individual play therapy followed by 7 weeks of Adlerian group play therapy. This intervention was chosen to address the participants’ problematic classroom behaviors, i.e., “calling out” and maintaining boundaries. Findings showed that upon completion of 7 weeks of individual Adlerian play therapy, children demonstrated questionable to moderate effect-size (ES) gains in reducing disruptive classroom behaviors. After receiving an additional 7 weeks of the Adlerian group play therapy, children demonstrated moderate to high ES improvements.

Child-Centered Play Therapy-Research Integrity Checklist: Development, Reliability, and Use
(Ray, Purswell, Haas, & Aldrete, 2017)

The purpose of the current study was to develop a measure to determine adherence to treatment fidelity. Four experienced CCPT therapists reviewed literature and observed play therapy sessions facilitated by other experienced play therapists to confirm the validity of verbal CCPT procedures and establish interrater reliability on the created instrument. Results revealed a free marginal multirater kappa at .82 and an intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) at .95 indicating strong consistency of raters and interrater reliability among raters for the Child-Centered Play Therapy-Research Integrity Checklist (CCPT-RIC). Additionally, verbal categories with the CCPT-RIC were defined for the purposes of research coding.

The Impact of a Two-Day Child Parent Relationship Therapy Training on Attitude, Knowledge, and Skills
(Perryman, Christian, & Massengale, 2017)

This study measured the impact of a 2-day Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) training for therapists who want to facilitate parent CPRT groups, using an adapted version of the Play Therapy Attitude, Knowledge, and Skills Survey (PTAKSS). The primary author adapted this instrument (CPRT-PTAKSS) to measure the objectives of CPRT, with permission from the author and a factor analysis was conducted. Paired samples t tests were then conducted between the pre- and posttest scores for each of the subscales. The analyses revealed significant differences between mean levels of all 5 subscales, with Knowledge and Skills for Teaching Child-Centered Play Therapy showing the greatest increase.

Four Approaches to Using Sandtray in Play Therapy Supervision
(Hartwig & Bennet, 2017)

This article presents four approaches to using sandtray in play therapy supervision. These approaches include teaching sandtray as an intervention, promoting supervisee self-awareness, case consultation, and group supervision. The authors highlight the purpose of play therapy supervision and present the Integrated Development Model (Stoltenberg & McNeill, 2010) as a way of conceptualizing supervisees’ developmental levels. This article presents a description of how to employ each approach, sample prompts for supervisors to use, and a description of which approaches are the best fit for certain supervisee developmental levels.

Part 1: Modern Trends in the Playroom: Preferences and Interactions with Tradition and Innovation
(Altvater, Singer, & Gil, 2017)

The purpose of the present study was to determine clinicians’ perspectives of their clients’ receptivity to traditional play therapy toys and techniques and to further ascertain if play therapists are noticing a shift in preference to technology in the play therapy room. Qualitative content analysis revealed that participants generally used technology in therapy despite having varying degrees of comfort with these interventions. Participants generally recommend using technological interventions only as an assistive intervention.


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.