Cultural Issues in Play Therapy

Second Edition

Edited by Eliana Gil and Athena A. Drewes
Foreword by Robert Jason Grant

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July 23, 2021
ISBN 9781462546916
Price: $82.00 $61.50
208 Pages
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July 23, 2021
ISBN 9781462546909
Price: $32.00 $24.00
208 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
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June 10, 2021
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208 Pages
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208 Pages
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“This book is full of valuable information, offering many useful ideas about the increasingly diverse child populations who come, or are sent to, American mental health services....There is much to be learned about cultural differences in play and play therapy from this information-rich volume. It will also be useful to professionals of many disciplines teaching child development in an increasingly multicultural world.”

Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal (on the first edition)


“This book provides an informative, helpful 'wake-up call' for play therapists to be culturally competent, not just culturally sensitive....The editors and contributing authors present literature reviews, play therapy strategies, case illustrations, and a sensitive portrayal of various different cultures and applicable approaches....This book is a great resource for multicultural competent play therapy strategies, and a sensitive exploration of the role of cultural similarities and differences in play therapy.”

Journal of Child and Family Studies (on the first edition)


“This book is a wonderful addition to the library for anyone who works with children, whether in play therapy or not….The discerning descriptions of parent-child interactions paint pictures that can guide practitioners away from ethnocentric thinking and towards understanding the variables attendant on the child's background and worldview.”

Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work (on the first edition)


“As a Black clinician, I appreciate the depth with which racial injustice and White privilege are addressed in this book. Readers will benefit from the transparency around challenges with race and culture in the play therapy room and the need to provide culturally responsive treatment. The authors are reflective and consider how racial, ethnic, and other disparities affect mental health practice with oppressed and marginalized communities. I felt inspired by the case examples and vignettes to continue examining my own beliefs, values, and biases to prevent them from showing up with the clients I serve.”

—Althea T. Simpson, MBA, LCSW, RPT-S, Black Play Therapy Society, Woodbridge, Virginia


“Gil and Drewes have created a strikingly different second edition that positions cultural sensitivity as one of the most salient issues of our time. What differentiates this edition is a deeper dive into the interacting psychosocial stressors that affect various subcultures. For play therapy educators, the book provides a platform to guide students through relevant yet often difficult content, with a focus on clinical principles, reflection, awareness, and self-evaluation. The volume is rich in poignant case examples. I recommend this second edition as required reading in graduate-level play therapy and child/family psychotherapy courses. Be prepared for growth!”

—Mary Anne Peabody, EdD, LCSW, RPT-S, Social and Behavioral Sciences Program, University of Southern Maine


“Gil and Drewes offer a timely update to their original edition, taking into account such momentous changes as the current racial justice movement and the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors offer personal testimonies, case studies, and practical play interventions that readers can immediately apply to their work with children from marginalized communities. This book should be on the shelves of both emerging and seasoned play therapists, and can be useful for courses on child welfare, diagnosis and assessment, and cultural diversity. Readers are challenged to acknowledge how White privilege and bias may appear in the playroom, and are guided to effectively diagnose and treat of children from various subcultures. I highly recommend that every play therapist use this book as a guide to build the foundation of antibias clinical work with children and families.”

—April D. Duncan, MSW, LCSW, RPT-S, Founder and CEO, BMH Connect


“A valuable tool for play therapists of all skill levels. It provides a working definition of 'culture' and goes to the heart of issues involved in conducting play therapy with children from differing cultures and subcultures. Chapters offer effective techniques and strategies to employ in clinical practice. This is a wonderful and timely book.”

—John Paul Lilly, MS, LCSW, RPT-S, private practice, Provo, Utah​