• Social Work
  • Counseling
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Psychology
Hours: 9 Contact Hours
Author(s): Textbook Authors:
  • Charles E. Schaefer, PhD
  • Heidi Gerard Kaduson, PhD, RPT-S
Workbook Author:
  • Denise Bike, MS
Item#: B4033
1 Textbook, 1 Exam Workbook (11 pages)

Contemporary Play Therapy: Theory, Research, and Practice

Price $59.95
Item # B4033
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

This practical course, designed for both seasoned professionals and those new to the field of play therapy, explores contemporary ideas and techniques in play therapy. The course explores the applications of object relations play therapy with children who have attachment issues and with those who have suffered relational trauma. The course also discusses experiential play therapy and describes the use of toys, expressive play, and metaphors. Dynamic play therapy and its central themes of attunement, attachment, and “natural play” are discussed. Participants will learn how narrative play therapy, which involves the use of externalization, story making, and storytelling, helps the child explore his or her way of experiencing life. Participants will learn how play therapy can be used with children who are insulin-dependent, those with learning disabilities, homeless children, girls affected by social aggression, and children who have been sexually abused. 

The course explores the provision of services to Mexican American children and their families and the use of play therapy with these children. The course discusses the use of play therapy techniques in disaster relief situations and provides guidance for working with international populations. Participants will learn how play therapy can be used to enhance children’s resiliency through the development of self-esteem, self-efficacy, and problem-solving skills. The course describes research on a directive form of play therapy known as Theraplay.® Practical applications such as conjoint school and home interventions are described. This intermediate-level course is designed for behavioral health professionals, including social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, and advanced practice and psychiatric nurses.

Social workers will receive 9 (Clinical Content) continuing education clock hours in participating in this course.

Click here for a list of supplemental references.

Banerjee, J., & Ray, S. G. (2013). Development of play therapy module for children with autism. Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology, 39(2), 245–253. Abstract retrieved from http://www.jiaap.org/Listing_Detail/Logo/303b9724-955a-418b-8a91-85f251c8b662.pdf

Bowers, N. R., Bowers, A., McLuckie, A., Munns, E., Rowbotham, M., Trotter, K., & Fraser, T. (2013). Play therapy with families: A collaborative approach to healing. Lanham, MD: Jason Aronson.

Bratton, S. C., Ceballos, P. L., Sheely-Moore, A. I., Meany-Walen, K., Pronchenko, Y., & Jones, L. D. (2013). Head start mental health intervention: Effects of child-centered play therapy on disruptive behaviors. International Journal of Play Therapy, 22(1), 28–42. Abstract retrieved from http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/pla/22/1/28/

Chari, U., Hirisave, U., & Appaji, L. (2013). Exploring play therapy in pediatric oncology: A preliminary endeavour. The Indian Journal of Pediatrics, 80(4), 303–308. Abstract retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12098-012-0807-8

Chown, A. (2014). Play therapy in the outdoors: Taking play therapy out of the playroom and into natural environments. Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley.

Crenshaw, D. A., & Stewart, A. L. (2014). Play therapy: A comprehensive guide to theory and practice. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Green, E. J. (2014). The handbook of Jungian play therapy with children and adolescents. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Green, E. J., Myrick, A. C., Allen-Auguston, M., Aranda, B., Asbill, L., Baggerly, J. N., . . . VanFleet, R. (2014). Play therapy with vulnerable populations: No child forgotten. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Malchiodi, C. A., & Perry, B. D. (2014). Creative interventions with traumatized children: Creative arts and play therapy (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Misurell, J. R., & Springer, C. (2013). Developing culturally responsive evidence-based practice: A game-based group therapy program for child sexual abuse (CSA). Journal of Child and Family Studies, 22(1), 137–149. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10826-011-9560-2

Course Objectives
  • Recognize culturally competent uses of play therapy.
  • Describe the clinical applications of variations on traditional play therapy.
  • Discuss the empirical support for play therapy.
  • Describe the theory of play therapy from various perspectives.
  • Identify how to apply evidence-based practices in play therapy.
  • Explain how to use play therapy when treating specific clinical issues.
  • Explain how to use play therapy with special populations.
Denise Bike, MS, obtained a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. Before earning her M.S., she was certified as an elementary educator and wrote nationally recognized educational materials. Additionally, Ms. Bike has received specialized training in family and systemic constellations from the Hellinger Institute in Penzberg, Germany. Ms. Bike currently provides therapy for adults in private practice.
  • Contact hours will be awarded for up to one (1) year from the date the course is ordered.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.