Integrative Play Therapy
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An integrative approach to play therapy blending various therapeutic treatment models and techniques

Reflecting the transition in the field of play therapy from a "one size fits all" approach to a more eclectic framework that integrates more than one perspective, Integrative Play Therapy explores methods for blending the best theories and treatment techniques to resolve the most common psychological disorders of childhood.

Edited by internationally renowned leaders in the field, this book is the first of its kind to look at the use of a multi-theoretical framework as a foundation for practice.

With discussion of integrative play treatment of children presenting a wide variety of problems and disorders—including aggression issues, the effects of trauma, ADHD, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders, social skills deficits, medical issues such as HIV/AIDS, and more—the book provides guidance on:

  • Play and group therapy approaches

  • Child-directed play therapy with behavior management training for parents

  • Therapist-led and child-led play therapies

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy with therapeutic storytelling and play therapy

  • Family therapy and play therapy

  • Bibliotherapy within play therapy

An essential resource for all mental health professionals looking to incorporate play therapy into treatment, Integrative Play Therapy reveals unique flexibility in integrating theory and techniques, allowing practitioners to offer their clients the best treatment for specific presenting problems.


Athena A. Drewes, PsyD, MA, RPT-S, has almost thirty years of clinical experience in play therapy, working with children and adolescents across all types of treatment settings. She is Director of Clinical Training and APA Internship at Astor Services for Children and Families. She served six years as Director of the Association for Play Therapy and is founder and Director of The Play Therapy Institute, LLC.

Sue C. Bratton, PhD, LPC, RPT-S, is a Professor and Director of the University of North Texas Center for Play Therapy. She has written numerous chapters on play therapy and related journal articles, and is a renowned play therapy trainer and workshop presenter.

Charles E. Schaefer, PhD, RPT-S, is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is cofounder and Director Emeritus of the Association for Play Therapy. He is also the founder and Codirector of the Play Therapy Training Institute in New Jersey.


Preface ix

About the Editors xi

Contributors xiii

Section I Introduction: Importance of an Integrative Approach to Child Therapy 1

Chapter 1 History of Psychotherapy Integration and Related Research 3
JohnW. Seymour

Chapter 2 Integrating Play Therapy Theories Into Practice 21
Athena A. Drewes

Section II Integrative Play Therapies for Externalizing Disorders of Childhood 37

Chapter 3 Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for Oppositional Behavior in Children: Integration of Child-Directed Play Therapy and Behavior Management Training for Parents 39
Amanda H. Costello, Karishma Chengappa, Jocelyn O. Stokes, Ashley B. Tempel, and Cheryl B. McNeil

Chapter 4 Integration of Sandtray Therapy and Solution-Focused Techniques for Treating Noncompliant Youth 61
Daniel S. Sweeney

Chapter 5 Holistic Expressive Play Therapy: An Integrative Approach to Helping Maltreated Children 75

Chapter 6 Social Skills Play Groups for Children With Disruptive Behavior Disorders: Integrating Play and Group Therapy Approaches 95
Julie Blundon Nash and Charles E. Schaefer

Section III Integrative Play Therapies for Internalizing Disorders of Childhood 105

Chapter 7 Cognitive-Behavioral Play Therapy for Traumatized Children: Narrowing the Divide Between Ideology and Evidence 107
Janine Shelby and Karina G. Campos

Chapter 8 The Worry Wars: A Protocol for Treating Childhood Anxiety Disorders 129
Paris Goodyear-Brown

Chapter 9 Filial Therapy for Maltreated and Neglected Children: Integration of Family Therapy and Play Therapy 153
Risse VanFleet and Glade Topham

Chapter 10 Integrating Art Into Play Therapy for Children With Mood Disorders 177
Sarah Hamil

Chapter 11 Integrating Play Therapy and EMDR With Children: A Post-Trauma Intervention 195
Victoria A. McGuinness

Chapter 12 Utilizing Bibliotherapy Within Play Therapy for Children With Anxieties and Fears 207
Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson

Chapter 13 Integrating Cognitive-Behavioral Play Therapy and Adlerian Play Therapy Into the Treatment of Perfectionism 225
Jeffrey S. Ashby and Christina Noble

Section IV Integrating Play Therapy for Attachment Disorders of Children 241

Chapter 14 Playing for Keeps: Integrating Family and Play Therapy to Treat Reactive Attachment Disorder 243
Kyle N.Weir

Chapter 15 Integrating Attachment Theory and Nondirective Play Therapy to Treat Children With More Serious Attachment Problems 265
Jessica Jäger and Virginia Ryan

Chapter 16 Integrating Ecosystemic Play Therapy and Theraplay in the Treatment of Attachment Disorders 297
Kevin O’Connor

Chapter 17 Integration of Child-Centered Play Therapy and Theraplay 325
Evangeline Munns

Chapter 18 An Integrative Humanistic Play Therapy Approach to Treating Adopted Children With a History of Attachment Disruptions 341
Sue C. Bratton, Kara Carnes-Holt, and Peggy L. Ceballos

Author Index 371

Subject Index 381