Play Therapy

A Comprehensive Guide to Theory and Practice

Edited by David A. Crenshaw and Anne L. Stewart
Foreword by Stuart Brown

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
August 29, 2014
ISBN 9781462517503
Price: $89.00 $62.30
556 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
February 22, 2016
ISBN 9781462526444
Price: $39.00 $27.30
556 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
September 15, 2014
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $39.00 $27.30
556 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $78.00 $42.90
556 Pages

This authoritative work brings together leading play therapists to describe state-of-the-art clinical approaches and applications. The book explains major theoretical frameworks and summarizes the contemporary play therapy research base, including compelling findings from neuroscience. Contributors present effective strategies for treating children struggling with such problems as trauma, maltreatment, attachment difficulties, bullying, rage, grief, and autism spectrum disorder. Practice principles are brought to life in vivid case illustrations throughout the volume. Special topics include treatment of military families and play therapy interventions for adolescents and adults.

This title is part of the Creative Arts and Play Therapy Series, edited by Cathy A. Malchiodi and David A. Crenshaw.

“Crenshaw and Stewart have created the seminal anthology of play therapy. Covering theory and approaches, clinical applications, practice guidelines, and research, this volume is the ultimate resource for students, as well as experienced practitioners. Taken in its entirety, the book goes further than any other work I know of in defining the breadth and scope of play therapy and its contribution to growth, development, education, and healing in children. I offer my sincere thanks to the editors for providing this indispensable resource!”

—Richard L. Gaskill, EdD, LCP, RPT-S, Sumner Mental Health Center, Wellington, Kansas

“Everything you always wanted to know about play therapy can be found in this comprehensive 36-chapter volume. The wide scope makes the book ideal for graduate play therapy training programs and for clinicians who work with children in a variety of settings. The chapter authors present not only their theoretical bases but also rich clinical case examples that demonstrate the unique power of play therapy. This impressive book will prove invaluable for educating professionals for years to come.”

—Nancy Boyd Webb, DSW, LICSW, RPT-S, University Distinguished Professor of Social Work Emerita, Fordham University

“This book offers a unique, much-needed contribution to the field. Crenshaw and Stewart have brought together an outstanding group of contributors. The impressive breadth and depth of coverage ranges from theoretical underpinnings, to clinical applications across a wide range of client problems, to research and ethical bases for practice. I recommend the book heartily as a text for graduate training programs, and for the library of any professional who wishes to engage in the informed practice of play therapy.”

—Ronald E. Reeve, PhD, NCSP, Director, Curry Program in Clinical and School Psychology, University of Virginia

“Accessing the richness of Play Therapy: A Comprehensive Guide to Theory and Practice allows the reader-practitioner to dive deeply into the transformative power of play itself. Each chapter acknowledges play as a force of nature, captured in its essence and refined through the comprehensive skill, broad scholarship, and multiple foci of accomplished authors and editors. The result of this immersion is inspiration and deepened professional identity for the practitioner, and healing mercies for those who become safe and playful through its applications. Guided, chapter by chapter, through this volume’s varied and verdant landscapes, the reader emerges with a treasure of theoretical and philosophical grounding plus solid clinical guidance for greater professional excellence. No small accomplishment....There is plenty of nourishment in this volume to establish it as a fresh and necessary revelatory ‘bible’ of play therapy, guiding the therapist to new and more effective personal and professional rewards.”

—from the Foreword by Stuart Brown, MD

Table of Contents

Foreword by Stuart Brown

I. Play Therapy Theories and Approaches

1. Child-Centered Play Therapy, Dee C. Ray & Garry L. Landreth

2. Object Relations and Attachment-Based Play Therapy, Sarah C. Patton & Helen E. Benedict

3. Adlerian Play Therapy, Terry Kottman & Jeffrey S. Ashby

4. Jungian Analytical Play Therapy, J. P. Lilly

5. Psychodynamic Play Therapy, John B. Mordock

6. Cognitive-Behavioral Play Therapy, Angela M. Cavett

7. Integrative Approach to Play Therapy, Eliana Gil, Elizabeth Konrath, Jennifer Shaw, Myriam Goldin, & Heather McTaggart Bryan

8. Attachment Security as a Framework in Play Therapy, William Whelan & Anne L. Stewart

9. Child-Parent Relationship Therapy: A 10-Session Filial Therapy Model, Sue C. Bratton, Kristie Opiola, & Eric Dafoe

10. Theraplay: Repairing Relationships, Helping Families Heal, Phyllis B. Booth & Marlo L.-R. Winstead

11. Sandtray and Storytelling in Play Therapy, Theresa Kestly

12. StoryPlay: A Narrative Play Therapy Approach, Joyce C. Mills

13. Family Play Therapy: Practical Techniques, Greg Czyszczon, Scott Riviere, Dianne Lowman, & Anne L. Stewart

14. Animal-Assisted Play Therapy, Risë VanFleet & Tracie Faa-Thompson

II. Clinical Applications of Play Therapy

15. Play Therapy with “Children of Fury”: Treating the Myriad Forms of Betrayal, David A. Crenshaw

16. Play Therapy with the Spectrum of Bullying Behavior, Steven Baron

17. Child-Centered Play Therapy and School-Based Problems, Angela I. Sheely-Moore & Peggy L. Ceballos

18. Trauma Narratives with Children in Foster Care: Individual and Group Play Therapy, David A. Crenshaw & Kathleen S. Tillman

19. Play Therapy with Children Experiencing Homelessness, Deborah C. Sturm & Christopher Hill

20. Play Therapy with Children of Divorce: A Prescriptive Approach, Sueann Kenney-Noziska & Liana Lowenstein

21. Play Therapy for Children Experiencing Grief and Traumatic Loss: What Matters Most, William Steele

22. Jungian Analytical Play Therapy with a Sexually Abused Child, J. P. Lilly

23. Child Maltreatment: Safety-Based Clinical Strategies for Play Therapists, Janine Shelby & Lauren E. Maltby

24. Reunifying Families after Critical Separations: An Integrated Play Therapy Approach to Building and Strengthening Family Ties, Eliana Gil

25. Play-Based Disaster and Crisis Intervention: Roles of Play Therapists in Promoting Recovery, Anne L. Stewart, Lennis G. Echterling, & Claudio Mochi

26. Play Therapy with Military-Connected Children and Families, Jessica Anne Umhoefer, Mary Anne Peabody, & Anne L. Stewart

27. Play Therapy with Children on the Autism Spectrum, Kevin B. Hull

28. Play Therapy with Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Heidi Gerard Kaduson

29. Filial Therapy for Children with Anxiety Disorders, Louise F. Guerney

30. Play Therapy with Adolescents, Brijin Johnson Gardner

31. Play Therapy Interventions for Adults, Diane Frey

III. Research and Practice Guidelines in Play Therapy

32. Research in Play Therapy: Empirical Support for Practice, Dee C. Ray

33. Reflective Practice in Play Therapy and Supervision, John W. Seymour & David A. Crenshaw

34. Cultural Issues in Play Therapy, Phyllis Post & Kathleen S. Tillman

35. Ethics in Play Therapy, Jeffrey S. Ashby & Kathleen McKinney Clark

36. Exploring the Neuroscience of Healing Play at Every Age, Bonnie Badenoch & Theresa Kestly

About the Editors

David A. Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S, is Clinical Director of the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, New York, and Adjunct Faculty at Marist College. He has taught graduate courses in play therapy at Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University and has published widely on child and adolescent therapy, child abuse and trauma, and resilience in children. A Fellow of the American Psychological Association and of its Division of Child and Adolescent Psychology, Dr. Crenshaw has received lifetime achievement awards from the New York Association for Play Therapy and the Hudson Valley Psychological Association. He is a past chair of the board of directors of the Coalition against Sexual and Domestic Abuse and a member of the professional advisory board of the Courthouse Dogs Foundation and of the Dutchess County Task Force against Human Trafficking.

Anne L. Stewart, PhD, RPT-S, is Professor of Graduate Psychology at James Madison University, where she teaches, supervises, and conducts play therapy each week. She has written and presented internationally about crisis intervention, attachment, supervision, military families, improvisation, and resilience. She is Founder and President of the Virginia Association for Play Therapy, Chair of the National Foundation for Play Therapy, and an editorial board member of the International Journal of Play Therapy. Dr. Stewart is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Association for Play Therapy and the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.


Jeffrey S. Ashby, PhD, ABPP, College of Education, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia

Bonnie Badenoch, PhD, LMFT, Nurturing the Heart, Vancouver, Washington

Steven Baron, PsyD, private practice, Bellmore, New York

Helen E. Benedict, PhD, RPT-S, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Baylor University, Waco, Texas

Phyllis B. Booth, MA, LPC, LMFT, RPT-S, The Theraplay Institute, Chicago, Illinois

Sue C. Bratton, PhD, LPC, RPT-S, Center for Play Therapy, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas

Stuart Brown, MD, National Institute for Play, Carmel Valley, California

Heather McTaggart Bryan, LPC, RPT, Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education, Fairfax, Virginia

Angela M. Cavett, PhD, LP, RPT-S, Beacon Behavioral Health Services and Training Center, West Fargo, North Dakota

Peggy L. Ceballos, PhD, LPC, RPT-S, Department of Counseling, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina

Kathleen McKinney Clark, MA, LPC, private practice, Alpharetta, Georgia

David A. Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S, Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, Poughkeepsie, New York

Greg Czyszczon, EdS, LPC, Harrisonburg Center for Relational Health, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Eric Dafoe, MA, Center for Play Therapy, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas

Lennis G. Echterling, PhD, Department of Graduate Psychology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Tracie Faa-Thompson, MSW, Turn About Pegasus, Northumberland, United Kingdom

Diane Frey, PhD, RPT-S, Department of Counseling, Wright State University, and private practice, Dayton, Ohio

Brijin Johnson Gardner, MSW, LSCSW, RPT-S, Operation Breakthrough, Parkville, Missouri

Eliana Gil, PhD, LMFT, RPT-S, ATR, Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education, Fairfax, Virginia

Myriam Goldin, LCSW, RPT-S, Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education, Fairfax, Virginia

Louise F. Guerney, PhD, RPT-S, National Institute of Relationship Enhancement, Bethesda, Maryland

Christopher Hill, MS, MA, Clinical and School Psychology Doctoral Program, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Kevin B. Hull, PhD, LPC, Hull and Associates, Lakeland, Florida

Heidi Gerard Kaduson, PhD, RPT-S, Play Therapy Training Institute, Monroe Township, New Jersey

Sueann Kenney-Noziska, MSW, LISW, LCSW, RPT-S, Play Therapy Corner, Las Cruces, New Mexico

Theresa Kestly, PhD, RPT-S, Sandtray Training Institute of New Mexico, Corrales, New Mexico

Elizabeth Konrath, LPC, RPT, Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education, Fairfax, Virginia

Terry Kottman, PhD, LMFT, RPT-S, The Encouragement Zone, Cedar Falls, Iowa

Garry L. Landreth, EdD, LPC, RPT-S, Center for Play Therapy, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas

J. P. Lilly, MS, LSCW, RPT-S, private practice, Provo, Utah

Liana Lowenstein, MSW, RSW, CPT-S, private practice, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Dianne Koontz Lowman, EdD, Harrisonburg Center for Relational Health, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Lauren E. Maltby, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Harbor–UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, California

Joyce C. Mills, PhD, RPT-S, The Story Play Center, Scottsdale, Arizona

Claudio Mochi, RP, RPT-S, Association of Play Therapy of Italy, Rome, Italy

John B. Mordock, PhD, ABPP, private practice, Poughkeepsie, New York

Kristie Opiola, MA, Center for Play Therapy, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas

Sarah C. Patton, PsyD, Psychology Service, North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, Gainesville, Florida

Mary Anne Peabody, EdD, LCSW, RPT-S, Social and Behavioral Sciences Program, Lewiston–Auburn College, University of Southern Maine, Brunswick, Maine

Phyllis Post, PhD, LPC-S, NCSC, RPT-S, Department of Counseling, Special Education, and Child Development, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina

Dee C. Ray, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S, Department of Counseling and Higher Education, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas

Scott Riviere, MS, LPC, RPT-S, Kids Interactive Discovery Zone (K.I.D.Z.), Lake Charles, Louisiana

John W. Seymour, PhD, LMFT, RPT-S, Department of Counseling and Student Personnel, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, Minnesota

Jennifer Shaw, PsyD, Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education, Fairfax, Virginia

Angela I. Sheely-Moore, PhD, NCC, Department of Counseling and Educational Leadership, Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey

Janine Shelby, PhD, RPT-S, Department of Psychiatry, Harbor–UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, California

William Steele, PsyD, MSW, National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children, Clinton Township, Michigan

Anne L. Stewart, PhD, RPT-S, Department of Graduate Psychology,James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Debbie C. Sturm, PhD, LPC, Department of Graduate Psychology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Kathleen S. Tillman, PhD, Department of Counseling Psychology and Community Services, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota

Jessica Anne Umhoefer, PsyD, NCSP, Department of Graduate Psychology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia; Fairfax County Public Schools, Alexandria, Virginia

Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC, The Playful Pooch Program, Family Enhancement and Play Therapy Center, Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania

William Whelan, PsyD, Virginia Child and Family Attachment Center, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Marlo L.-R. Winstead, LSCSW, LCSW, RPT-S, Department of Social Work, University of Kansas, Kansas City, Kansas


Play, art, and other creative arts therapists; clinical psychologists, child psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, and family therapists.

Course Use

Serves as a text in graduate-level play therapy courses.