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International Journal of Play Therapy - Vol 26, Iss 2

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International Journal of Play Therapy The International Journal of Play Therapy, the official journal of the Association for Play Therapy, is dedicated to publishing and disseminating reports of original research, theoretical articles, and substantive reviews of topics germane to play therapy on behalf of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, school counselors, marriage and family therapists, and other mental health professionals.
Copyright 2017 American Psychological Association
  • Effects of child-centered play therapy for students with highly-disruptive behavior in high-poverty schools.
    Authors examine effects of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) within a service-research project. Students were referred for highly disruptive behavior by principals, with teacher input, following guidance through referral definitions and indicators provided by the authors. CCPT services were provided in high-poverty schools by counseling interns or beginning play therapists in close supervision. Findings include significant differences for treatment versus control groups and moderate to large effects from 9-session hours across total problems, externalizing, attention problems, and learning related self-efficacy, with no change in internalizing behaviors. Findings support the importance of CCPT in schools and other real-world settings for high-need children. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • The effects of child-centered play therapy on the behavioral performance of three first grade students with ADHD.
    A single-case multiple baseline across-participants design was used to investigate the effects of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) on hyperactivity/impulsivity and inattention in 3 first grade students. Students were referred to our study by classroom teachers using a behavior checklist. Parents and teachers filled out the Attention Deficit Disorders Evaluation Scale (4th ed., McCarney & Arthaud, 2013) to qualify students for our study. Students who scored in the moderate or severe range from the same classroom were selected for our study. The Direct Observation Form (DOF; McConaughy & Achenbach, 2009) was used to assess behaviors across baseline, treatment, and maintenance conditions by trained observers. Students participated in an average 3 CCPT sessions each week for 6 weeks, for a total of 18 sessions. Visual inspection techniques were used to analyze the effects of CCPT on attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) behaviors. Results indicated that there was a small effect size for CCPT on ADHD behaviors. Analysis of individual subscales revealed moderate or large effect sizes increasing time on task and decreasing total problems in the classroom, sluggish cognitive tempo, immature/withdrawn behavior, intrusive behavior, and oppositional behavior in individual participants. The Behavior Intervention Rating Scale (BIRS; VonBrock & Elliott, 1987) was completed out by the teacher posttreatment as a measure of social validity. The teacher indicated that CCPT was an appropriate intervention for students with ADHD, has utility in the school setting, and would recommend CCPT to other teachers. Limitations, suggestions for future research, clinical implications, and conclusions are presented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Play therapy with adolescents in schools: Counselors’ firsthand experiences.
    This phenomenological qualitative study explored issues related to using play therapy with teenagers in schools. Due to sparse empirical research about play therapy with this population, 10 counselors working with secondary school students in the southern United States were interviewed about counselors’ views and their firsthand experiences in using play therapy. The results reveal that despite existing obstacles, 2 factors facilitated play therapy in secondary schools: (1) taking advantage of the therapeutic value of play and (2) counselor-associated efforts. Starting with counselors’ intrinsic motivations, the counselor-associated efforts involved (a) positive core values driving play therapy usage, (b) successful experiences reinforcing play therapy practice with teenagers, (c) adaptations via various methods, (d) flexibility and consultation to overcome resource constraints, and (e) a receptive human environment. To advance play therapy with teenagers in schools, the issues waiting to be addressed include (a) an inconsistent or insufficient understanding about theoretical approaches to play therapy, (b) resource constraints, and (c) mixed views about video gaming. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • The effects of Adlerian play therapy on maladaptive perfectionism and anxiety in children: A single case design.
    In recent years, an increasing number of mental health research focused on perfectionism as a concept that impacts psychosocial and behavioral wellbeing of individuals from different age groups (Morris & Lomax, 2014). In contrast with adaptive perfectionists, individuals with maladaptive perfectionism set unrealistically high standards and show rigidity in behaviors toward achievement (Stoeber & Otto, 2006). Research results support that maladaptive perfectionism is associated with a host of psychological problems throughout the life span such as depression, low self-esteem, eating disorders, interpersonal problems, and personality disorders (Boone, Soenens, Vansteenkiste, & Braet, 2012; Gnilka, Ashby, & Noble, 2013; Kenney-Benson & Pomerantz, 2005; Rice, Ashby, & Gilman, 2011; Stoeber, Feast, & Hayward, 2009). Anxiety is 1 of the most recognized mental health problems associated with perfectionism, which can start in early years due to experiencing criticism and high standards for performance (Damian, Stoeber, Negru, & Băban, 2013). Although there is an increase in the number of research studies focused on maladaptive perfectionism in adults, research regarding the mental health treatment of perfectionism in children is in its infancy (Morris & Lomax, 2014). Ashby, Kottman, and Martin (2004) proposed a play-based intervention grounded in Adlerian principles as a developmentally responsive approach that focused on helping children modify maladaptive thoughts and behavior. This single-case design study aimed to investigate the effect of Adlerian play therapy (AdPT) on children’s maladaptive perfectionism and anxiety. Results showed AdPT as a promising intervention that needs to be further studied for its effectiveness in treating children’s maladaptive perfectionism and related anxiety issues. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • A multidisciplinary model for treating complex trauma in early childhood.
    Current neurodevelopmental research suggests that chronic and highly stressful environments and experiences, occurring during early development, have a strong negative impact on the neural architecture and overall brain development in young children. Evidence based practice suggests interventions which provide safe, relational, playful, regulatory directed, and repetitive sensory/motor qualities, geared to the developmental age of the child, will best meet child and family needs. Optimally meeting the needs of these children and their caregivers with a neurobiologically based approach requires a multidisciplinary team approach. Here we describe our multidisciplinary practice model and present the case of a “graduate” of our program. Our model is based on Perry’s neurosequential model of therapeutics approach to clinical reasoning, and emphasizes the healing power of safe relationships and the use of regulatory activities designed to activate specific brain regions. We also incorporate trauma informed play therapy to support relationship building and self-regulation, strengths-based and trauma informed early childhood education, occupational therapy emphasizing sensory integration for self-regulation, and caregiver therapy. We suggest that this multidisciplinary, multifaceted model of intervention for preschoolers with serious emotional disorders related to the developmental trauma is healing to both the child and caregiver and assists the child to reenter the educational system with more adaptive self-regulation tools and social emotional tools. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • "Nature-based child-centered group play therapy and behavioral concerns: A single-case design": Correction to Swank et al. (2017).
    Reports an error in "Nature-based child-centered group play therapy and behavioral concerns: A single-case design" by Jacqueline M. Swank, Christopher Cheung, Alena Prikhidko and Yi-Wen Su (International Journal of Play Therapy, 2017[Jan], Vol 26[1], 47-57). In the article, Alena Prikhidko and Yi-Wen Su were originally omitted from the byline and the author note in the online version. All versions of this article have been corrected. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2017-00140-004.) In this study, the researchers used a single-case design to examine the effectiveness of nature-based child-centered group play therapy (NBCCGPT) with early elementary schoolchildren (N = 5) exhibiting behavioral problems. Children were randomly assigned to either a treatment or wait-list group. The treatment group participants (n = 3) demonstrated improvements ranging from debatable to effective with increasing on-task behavior and decreasing total problems. Additionally, the treatment group demonstrated more improvement with increasing on-task behaviors and decreasing total problems than did the wait-list group (n = 2). Implications for using NBCCGPT are also discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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