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International Journal of Play Therapy - Vol 26, Iss 4

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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
  • Enhancing social-emotional skills in at-risk preschool students through Theraplay based groups: The Sunshine Circle Model.
    Sunshine Circles is a teacher-led group process using social-relationship principles from Theraplay®. This study, conducted across 6 preschool sites in the midwestern United States, was the first to examine empirical outcomes against a control group for this program. Students in these teacher-led, play-based groups improved significantly compared with controls in social-emotional skills, behavioral regulation, problem-solving, and fine motor control. Specific improvements occurred in domains of managing feelings, cooperation, accepting limits, peer interactions and friendships, and solving social problems. Furthermore, structured teacher observation measurements yielded data indicating improvement in teacher classroom performance. Interviews with teachers confirmed that the intervention subjectively increased classroom cohesion, improved teacher–student relationships, and improved overall classroom behavior. These findings have implications for both classroom best practice and teacher education. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Impact of Adlerian play therapy on externalizing behaviors of at-risk preschoolers.
    African American children experience higher rates of poverty than other children. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2014), not only does poverty contribute to children’s poor physical and mental health, it can also impede their learning abilities and contribute to problems socially, emotionally, and behaviorally. In this single-case design study, 4 at-risk African American preschool children ages 3–5 participated in 7 weeks of Adlerian individual play therapy followed by 7 weeks of Adlerian group play therapy. This intervention was chosen to address the participants’ problematic classroom behaviors, i.e., “calling out” and maintaining boundaries. Findings showed that upon completion of 7 weeks of individual Adlerian play therapy, children demonstrated questionable to moderate effect-size (ES) gains in reducing disruptive classroom behaviors. After receiving an additional 7 weeks of the Adlerian group play therapy, children demonstrated moderate to high ES improvements. Implications for play therapists working with African American preschool children living in poverty, interventions for addressing externalizing behaviors, and recommendations for future research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Child-Centered Play Therapy-Research Integrity Checklist: Development, reliability, and use.
    Treatment fidelity is a critical standard within the exploration of evidence-based treatment effectiveness. In order for experimental research studies to meet the rigor of evidence-base scrutiny, researchers are expected to address how and to what degree the experimental treatment was delivered in alignment with standard procedures for that treatment. Although child-centered play therapy (CCPT) can be delivered according to an established protocol, measures for adherence to such protocol have not been developed. The purpose of the current study was to develop a measure to determine adherence to treatment fidelity. Four experienced CCPT therapists reviewed literature and observed play therapy sessions facilitated by other experienced play therapists to confirm the validity of verbal CCPT procedures and establish interrater reliability on the created instrument. Results revealed a free marginal multirater kappa at .82 and an intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) at .95 indicating strong consistency of raters and interrater reliability among raters for the Child-Centered Play Therapy-Research Integrity Checklist (CCPT-RIC). Additionally, verbal categories with the CCPT-RIC were defined for the purposes of research coding. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • The impact of a two-day child parent relationship therapy training on attitude, knowledge, and skills.
    This study measured the impact of a 2-day Child Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) training for therapists who want to facilitate parent CPRT groups, using an adapted version of the Play Therapy Attitude, Knowledge, and Skills Survey (PTAKSS). The primary author adapted this instrument (CPRT-PTAKSS) to measure the objectives of CPRT, with permission from the author and a factor analysis was conducted. Paired samples t tests were then conducted between the pre- and posttest scores for each of the subscales. The analyses revealed significant differences between mean levels of all 5 subscales, with Knowledge and Skills for Teaching Child-Centered Play Therapy showing the greatest increase. Additionally, the eta squared effect size also indicated high practical significance for all subscales. The results have valuable implications for training mental health providers through intensive workshops. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Four approaches to using sandtray in play therapy supervision.
    Sandtray is an expressive intervention used in play therapy that may also be used to enhance play therapy supervision. This article presents four approaches to using sandtray in play therapy supervision. These approaches include teaching sandtray as an intervention, promoting supervisee self-awareness, case consultation, and group supervision. The authors highlight the purpose of play therapy supervision and present the Integrated Development Model (Stoltenberg & McNeill, 2010) as a way of conceptualizing supervisees’ developmental levels. The authors also emphasize the benefits of using sandtray in supervision and the importance of developing competence in sandtray prior to using it in supervision. This article presents a description of how to employ each approach, sample prompts for supervisors to use, and a description of which approaches are the best fit for certain supervisee developmental levels. Each of these approaches has the potential to be a creative and dynamic way to enhance the play therapy supervision process. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Part 1: Modern trends in the playroom—preferences and interactions with tradition and innovation.
    The purpose of the present study was to determine clinicians’ perspectives of their clients’ receptivity to traditional play therapy toys and techniques and to further ascertain if play therapists are noticing a shift in preference to technology in the play therapy room. In addition, the present study aimed to explore clinicians’ preference, comfort, and utilization of various traditional and innovative play therapy techniques. Participants include 13 Registered Play Therapists (RPTs) and Registered Play Therapist Supervisors (RPT-Ss) who completed semistructured interviews. Qualitative content analysis revealed that participants generally used technology in therapy despite having varying degrees of comfort with these interventions. Although there is rapid growth toward a technological age, participants expressed the continued significance and usability of traditional play therapy toys. Participants generally recommend using technological interventions only as an assistive intervention. Implications include recommendations for further training and research to improve clinicians’ familiarity and comfort with innovative play therapy techniques to maximize therapeutic outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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