Integrative Play Therapy

Integrative Play Therapy

Integrative Play Therapy

Integrative Play Therapy


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.


The necessity for Integrative Play Therapy has evolved out of each of our personal experiences and approaches in the field of play therapy. We have each found that the complex and difficult treatment cases we encountered often required a more comprehensive treatment approach involving the blending of theories and techniques. Many of our play therapy colleagues have also moved away from a one-size-fits-all treatment approach that uses a single theoretical approach for all or most treatment cases. Until recently, play therapists tended to remain wedded to the original theoretical framework they learned in their graduate training. Alternative conceptualizations and potentially superior evidence-informed interventions have now become available. In addition, there has been a growing movement within both the child and adult psychotherapy fields toward an integrative treatment approach. Indeed, the use of a multitheoretical framework as a foundation for practice has become the prevailing zeitgeist.

We believe that this book will help play therapists learn from the descriptions of how other therapists have integrated various theoretical approaches in resolving the common psychological disorders of childhood. The ultimate goal of this book is to heighten awareness of the necessity, efficacy, and wide applicability of a multitheoretical treatment approach. We hope that as play therapists become committed to integration, they will move away from identifying themselves with a particular school and toward an identification as an integrative play therapist.

Athena A. Drewes Sue C. Bratton charles E. Schaefer . . .

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