Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Join APT
International Journal of Play Therapy
Share |

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.


April 2019, Vol. 28, No. 2

Technology's Impact on the Parent-Infant Attachment Relationship: intervening Through FirstPlay® Therapy
(Courtney & Nowakowski-Sims, 2019)

This article examines the overall impact of technology on the parent–child attachment relationship through the application of a new infant play therapy (manualized) intervention adapted from Developmental Play Therapy called FirstPlay® Therapy Infant Storytelling Massage is offered as one approach to enhance attachment and bonding. A case vignette is presented in which a Certified FirstPlay Practitioner worked with a new teenage mother and her 4-week-old infant to guide, supervise, model, and facilitate a FirstPlay Infant Storytelling Massage session. The goal was to promote attachment and bonding and to address the issue of concerning technology use. The FirstPlay Practitioner was able to help the mother bond with her infant through real live “FaceTime” as experienced through joyful and nurturing first-play story-massage techniques.

Therapists' Perceptions of the Reality Play Therapy Model
(Stutey, Klein, Wubbolding, & Dunnigan, 2019)

In this study, the authors provided a 2-hr training on the RePT model with 24 participants in the mental health profession. At the end of the training, participants shared their perceptions of the RePT model, rated their confidence in utilizing activities from RePT, and rated the likelihood that they would utilize these interventions with child and young adolescent clients. Overall, participants reported confidence in utilizing most aspects of the RePT model and were more likely to implement the RePT activities that they felt most confident about after the training. Based on participants’ feedback, suggestions for revising and expanding the RePT model are provided, along with suggestions for future research with the RePT model.

Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Play Therapy: Adapting Child-Centered Play Therapy for Deaf Children
(Tapia-Fuselier & Ray, 2019)

In this manuscript, the authors propose modifying the practices of child-centered play therapy, by utilizing American Sign Language, to meet the needs of deaf children and provide new opportunity for therapeutic access for these children in a culturally responsive manner. Because children with deafness face societal obstacles every day that require navigation of environmental and communication factors, and because, deaf children raised in hearing families encounter barriers to development in a hearing world that limits their expression of thoughts, feelings, and emotions, child-centered play therapy may provide an opportunity for deaf children to experience a therapeutic relationship that fosters the child’s growth and exploration of thoughts, feelings, and emotions in an open and accepting environment.

Effectiveness of Child-Centered Play Therapy Among Marginalized Children
(Post, Phipps, Camp, & Grybush, 2019)

For this review article, the authors reviewed the literature that examined the impact of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) conducted with marginalized children. This review evaluated the results of the studies, the outcome variables used, the identification of who completed the assessments about the children, and the ethnicity of the play therapists who conducted the interventions. The findings demonstrated that CCPT is effective for marginalized children, externalized behaviors are most frequently assessed, teachers most frequently completed the assessments about the children, and the ethnicity of the play therapists is not usually reported.

Child-Centered Play Therapy as a Means of Healing Children Exposed to Domestic Violence
(Hall, 2019)

The author of this manuscript makes the case for utilizing child-centered play therapy when working with children exposed to domestic violence. It is imperative that these child witnesses receive interventions that are developmentally appropriate and meet their unique needs. Play therapy has been proven to be a statistically effective means of treating externalizing and internalizing problems in children. Witnessing physical as well as psychological–emotional violence within the family can cause serious detrimental effects to children. Younger children respond to domestic violence by having higher levels of psychological disturbance and display lower self-esteem than do older children. Likewise, other issues related to mental and physical health may manifest.

Effect of CPRT With Adoptive Parents of Preadolescents: A Pilot Study
(Swan, Bratton, Caballos, & Laird, 2019)

In this single group pilot study, the authors explored the effect of child–parent relationship therapy (CPRT) for adoptive parents of preadolescents who reported attachment related concerns, stress in the parent–child relationship, and child behavior problems. Results demonstrated statistically significant improvement for the 3 outcome variables: parental empathy, child behavior, and parent child relationship stress. Specifically, results indicated that prior to receiving CPRT (baseline to pretest), parents demonstrated no change or worsening in functioning across all variables, whereas during the intervention phase findings showed a large treatment effect for parental empathy, a medium effect for parenting stress, and a small effect for child behavior problems.


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