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Child-Centered Play Therapy: A Practical Guide to Developing Therapeutic Relationships with Children



Child-Centered Play Therapy: A Practical Guide to Developing Therapeutic Relationships with Children

Nancy H. Cochran, William J. Nordling, Jeff L. Cochran

ISBN: 978-0-470-63491-2 August 2010 464 Pages


"The authors . . . make child-centered play therapy readily understandable to those who wish to take advantage of its long history of helping children overcome problems and grow emotionally to a level of maturity difficult to achieve by any other approach."
From the Foreword, by Louise F. Guerney, PhD, RPT-S

A comprehensive resource that thoroughly teaches the theory, methods, and practice of child-centered play therapy

Child-Centered Play Therapy: A Practical Guide to Developing Therapeutic Relationships with Children offers how-to direction and practical advice for conducting child-centered play therapy. Filled with case studies, learning activities, and classroom exercises, this book presents extensive coverage of play therapy applications such as setting goals and treatment planning, as well as recommendations for family and systemic services that can be provided along with play therapy.

This rich resource provides:

  • A thorough introduction to the theory and guiding principles underlying child-centered play therapy

  • Skill guidance including structuring sessions, tracking, empathy, responding to children's questions, and role-play

  • Effective ways of determining what limits to set in the playroom and how to set them in a therapeutically effective manner

  • Clear methods for monitoring children's progress through stages as well as external measures of progress

  • Practical guidance in adjunct therapist tasks such as playroom set-up, documentation, ending therapy, and working with parents, teachers, and principals

Endorsed by Louise Guerney—a founding child-centered play therapy figure who developed the skills-based methods covered in this book—Child-Centered Play Therapy comprehensively and realistically introduces practitioners to the child-centered approach to play therapy and addresses how to incorporate the approach into schools, agencies, or private practice.

Foreword xi
Louise F. Guerney

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xix

Chapter 1 Introduction: The Child-Centered Approach, Student and Practitioner Approaches to Learning, and Our Approach to Teaching 1

Chapter 2 CCPT in Context: Key Concepts From Child Development and Principles of Human Change 23

Chapter 3 The Ideal Therapist Qualities: Deep Empathy, Unconditional Positive Regard, and Genuineness 49

Chapter 4 The Eight Principles in Child-Centered Play Therapy 71

Chapter 5 Preparing Your Setting for Providing Child-Centered Play Therapy 89

Chapter 6 The Two Core Therapist Skills: Tracking and Empathic Responding 107

Chapter 7 Creating an Optimum Environment for Therapy Through Structuring and Limit Setting 131

Chapter 8 Responding to Questions, Requests for Help, and Commands 167

Chapter 9 Role-Play: The Therapeutic Value of Taking Part in Dramatic or Pretend Play During Child-Centered Play Therapy Sessions 195

Chapter 10 Recognizing Stages: Understanding the Therapy Process and Evaluating Children’s Internal Progress 225

Chapter 11 Helping Parents, Teachers, and Principals Understand and Support the Child’s Work in Play Therapy 255

Chapter 12 Goals, Treatment Planning, Reporting, and Evaluating Progress 293

Chapter 13 Filial Therapy: Involving Parents and Caregivers in Child-Centered Play Sessions With Their Children 315

Chapter 14 Helping Children Capitalize on Gains Made in CCPT 335

Chapter 15 Reaching Diverse Clients with the Child-Centered Approach 347

Chapter 16 Legal and Ethical Issues From a Child-Centered Perspective 367

Chapter 17 Your Ongoing Development 383

Skills Support Resources 395

Special Reference List for Chapter Opening Quotes 409

References 413

Name Index 423

Subject Index 427

This is a landmark book…It is refreshing, bold in its approach, instructional and informative. The authors have taken a proven therapy model for children ages 3-12 and explained how to expand it into new territory to include educational settings and multiple treatment needs. Child therapist/counselors and educators alike will be pleased with this new tool to help them navigate the complexities of dealing with families and their children in today’s changing social structures. This is a book that should be read by all CCPT therapists whether fully experienced or just beginning to consider CCPT training. (AFREM News (Association for Filial and Relationship Enhancement Methods)

This reference would be useful in master's- and doctoral-level graduate courses on counseling children or CCPT specifically. It would also be an excellent reference for professional counselors who are new to CCPT and seeking supervision to build CCPT skills. The book is clearly written and inspires the reader throughout to be passionate about this modality. (Counseling Today)

[Child-Centered Play Therapy] teachers theory, methods, and practice of CCPT in a highly accessible way with skill development as a primary focus. One of the text book’s major strengths is the variety of methods provided for reinforcing learning. Child-Centered Play Therapy is a text that will provide practical and comprehensive instruction for beginners as well as a useful reference for experienced practitioners. (Play Therapy Magazine)