Child Centered Play Therapy (Book)


Risë VanFleet, PhD, Family Enhancement and Play Therapy Center, Boiling Springs, PA
Andrea E. Sywulak, PhD, private practice, Southampton, PA
Cynthia Caparosa Sniscak, LPC, private practice, Carlisle, PA

Highly practical, instructive, and authoritative, this book vividly describes how to conduct childcentered play therapy. The authors are master clinicians who explain core therapeutic principles and techniques, using rich case material to illustrate treatment of a wide range of difficulties. The focus is on nondirective interventions that allow children to freely express their feelings and take the lead in solving their own problems. Flexible yet systematic guidelines are provided for setting up a playroom; structuring sessions; understanding and responding empathically to children’s play themes, including how to handle challenging behaviors; and collaborating effectively with parents.

"This is one of those rare books that combine rich theoretical and contextual frameworks with clear and relevant practice examples. At a time when the term 'child-centered play therapy' is often loosely applied or misunderstood, this book could not be more timely. The authors take CCPT back to its fundamental principles, speaking with an authoritative but also warmly empathic voice. Chapters are illustrated with helpful case material and specific suggestions for therapeutic 'dos and don'ts.' The book will be invaluable as a refresher for experienced play therapists or as a starting point for students and others just getting acquainted with the principles of nondirective play. It should be required reading in any introductory play therapy or child psychotherapy course."
-Geraldine Thomas MSc, Filial/Play Therapist and Instructor, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, London, UK

"A practical guide for beginning and experienced child clinicians. This book is unique in the depth of its coverage of the essential ingredients of child-centered play therapy, from how to set up a therapy room to recognizing and interpreting play themes and setting limits with child clients. The authors seamlessly share their wealth of knowledge and expertise, offering a generous mix of applications and rich case studies. They tackle such important issues as the use of touch in therapy, cultural considerations, and research evidence for play therapy. This well-rounded and easy-to-read work is a 'must have.'"
-Athena A. Drewes, PsyD, RPT-S, Director of Clinical Training, Astor Services for Children and Families, Poughkeepsie, New York

"Finally, a book that teaches and illustrates the essential 'how-to' details of child-centered play therapy (CCPT)! The approach is presented in such a comprehensive, explicit format that whether you are a beginning play therapist or an experienced practitioner or professor, the book has tremendous value. Drawing on their vast knowledge of the field, the authors address the importance of the relationship, how to work with parents, and practical applications for children with a wide variety of psychological difficulties. Using detailed case studies, they show how CCPT can enhance anyone's play therapy style. This book is a 'must' for teaching CCPT and should be on the shelves of all therapists interested in using play to help children heal."
-Heidi Gerard Kaduson, PhD, RPT-S, Director, The Play Therapy Training Institute, Inc., Hightstown, New Jersey

"This book provides excellent explanations of the critical skills that therapists need to practice CCPT. It presents a well-conceptualized discussion of common themes that children present in play therapy, and strategies for understanding and utilizing these in the treatment process. It also offers an excellent discussion of the application of CCPT to a variety of common problems, as well as how to handle difficult behaviors in session. Both graduate students and seasoned play therapists will find this book significantly expands the way they think about one of the most widely practiced forms of play therapy."
-Kevin O'Connor, PhD, RPT-S, Distinguished Professor, California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University

Table of Contents
I. Background and Relevance
1. The Importance of Play
2. A Brief Overview of Play Therapy
3. History, Theory, Principles, and Variations of Child-Centered Play Therapy
II. Logistics and Techniques
4. Playroom Set-Up and Logistics
5. The Four Skills of Child-Centered Play Therapy
6. Recognition and Interpretation of Play Themes
III. Parent Involvement
7. Engaging Parents and Teachers in Child-Centered Play Therapy
8. Filial Therapy
IV. Practical Applications and Issues
9. Child-Centered Play Therapy with Different Presenting Problems
10. Handling Select Child Behaviors and Special Circumstances
11. Touch in Child-Centered Play Therapy
12. Cultural and Systemic Considerations in the Practice of Child-Centered Play Therapy
V. Research and Professional Issues
13. Research on Child-Centered Play Therapy and Filial Therapy
14. Developing Competence in Child-Centered Play Therapy

About the Authors
Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, is President of the Family Enhancement and Play Therapy Center in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. She has trained thousands worldwide in the practice of child-centered play therapy and Filial Therapy, and is the author of numerous books, articles, and DVDs on these topics. Dr. VanFleet is a past president and board chair of the Association for Play Therapy. She is a recipient of the Bernard G. and Louise F. Guerney Award for Outstanding Contributions to Practice and Training in Filial Therapy, from the Association for Filial and Relationship Enhancement Methods, and of the Play Therapy Professional Education and Training Award, from the Association for Play Therapy.

Andrea E. Sywulak, PhD, RPT-S, is in private practice in Southampton, Pennsylvania, specializing in the treatment of families with young children. She has trained many professionals in child-centered play therapy and Filial Therapy and regularly supervises professionals in their use of these methods. She conducted some of the first research on Filial Therapy, has authored book chapters and manuals, and has presented at international conferences.

Cynthia Caparosa Sniscak, LPC, RPT-S, is in private practice with children and families in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, specializing in trauma and attachment problems. She has trained many professionals and authored several book chapters. Ms. Sniscak presents at international conferences and provides supervision in child-centered play therapy and Filial Therapy. She is a recipient of the Outstanding Contributions to Professional Training in Filial Therapy Award from the Family Enhancement and Play Therapy Center.

Pin It on Pinterest