This pioneering, path-breaking book launches a field of scientific play therapy theory and research which, though leaning on a time-honored tradition, has not been sufficiently explored or tilled so far. Play therapy has been theorized about and practiced since the beginning of the Twentieth Century and has proved to be a highly effective form of therapy, essential for working with children, teens and families. It is a fast-growing field. However, the field still awaits its next theoretical and methodological leap forward. This first-of-its-kind resource integrates the theory behind play therapy practice with current knowledge in other disciplines such as psychology, anthropology, brain research, semiotics, linguistics, play theory and research, other genres of psychotherapy. Child and play therapists are comprised of a wide variety of mental health professionals who work in a number of different settings, with diverse populations, and this volume provides the only systematic, rigorous, explicit, and operationalized integration available.
The therapeutic mechanisms of play and the secrets of their working in the therapeutic process, though discussed and investigated in many ways, have not yet been systematically and rigorously studied by adequate scientific methodologies. The current requirement for evidence-based practice demands that it is not enough to know that play therapy works but that we should also know how and why it works. For this purpose, research methodologies, both quantitative and qualitative, which have been profitably applied in other fields such as hermeneutics, semiotics and linguistics, cultural anthropology, human ethology etc. will be introduced in this book by leading experts in both these methodologies and play therapy. This new approach to play therapy theory and research will encourage and inspire theorists, researchers and students in the field of play therapy to develop and implement new, novel, exciting theoretical development and process research projects. The book will also help practitioners and trainees to monitor their own play therapy practice and improve it. An essential resource for those designing and conducting research on play therapy from different disciplines.
Shlomo Ariel, Ph.D, is an Expert-Supervisor of Clinical Psychology by the Israeli Ministry of Health and an Expert-Supervisor of Family Therapy by the Israeli Family Therapy Association. He earned his Ph.D in linguistics from London University and his MA in psychology from Tel Aviv University. A former lecturer of linguistics at London University specializing in theoretical linguistics, anthropological linguistics and philosophy of language, he has integrated these fields into his theoretical and research work in his second career as a psychotherapist and a play therapist. During his career change he spent one year at the Department of Psychology of Yale University as a guest researcher, invited by Professor Jerome L. Singer, a leading play researcher. Ariel was a member of the training division of the International Family Therapy Association. He is widely published in his fields of expertise. His main relevant professional books are Multidimensional therapy withfamilies, children and adults: The diamond model (2018, Routledge); Integrative play therapy with individuals, families and groups (2019, Routledge); Strategic family play therapy (1992, Wiley); Culturally competent family therapy (1999, Praeger) and Children's imaginative play: a visit to wonderland (2002, Praeger). He has been training professionals in his areas of expertise – psychotherapy integration, play therapy and culturally competent psychotherapy- in full training programs, courses and workshops in Israel, various European countries (Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Turkey, Russia, Albania, Kosovo, Romania) and throughout the USA. He also published stories, poems, songs and plays for children and adults in Hebrew. He is a songwriter, performing his original music with various bands. For more details, see: http://www.enjoymychild.com .
Athena A. Drewes, PsyD, RPT-S is a licensed psychologist, certified school psychologist and Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor. She is formerly Director of Training and Director of the American Psychological Association Doctoral Psychology Internship at Astor Services for Children and Families in New York. She currently lives in Ocala, FL. She has over 45 years of clinical and supervision experience with complex trauma, sexual abuse, foster care children and adolescents, in school, outpatient and inpatient settings. She is former Board of Director of the Association for Play Therapy and Founder and President Emeritus of the NY Association for Play Therapy. She is a frequently invited guest lecturer around the United States and internationally around the world, including Canada, England, Ireland, Italy, Argentina, Mexico, Australia, Taiwan, Denmark, and China. She has published numerous book chapters, journal articles and edited/co-edited twelve play therapy books with the most recent Play-based interventions for childhood anxieties, Fears, and phobias; Puppet play therapy; Play therapy in middle childhood with a companion DVD of Dr. Drewes demonstrating her work in Prescriptive Integrative Play Therapy with the American Psychological Association; and co-edited with Dr. Charles Schaefer The Therapeutic powers of play. 20 Core agents of change (Wiley).
Kevin O'Connor, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S, is Board Certified in Clinical Child and
Adolescent Psychology and is a Distinguished Professor and the Clinical Director of the Clinical Psychology PhD Program at the California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University - Fresno. He is the co-founder and a Director Emeritus of the Association for Play Therapy. He is the author of numerous books including The play therapy primer, (2nd edition) and co-author of Play therapy treatment Planning and interventions (2nd edition), and co-editor of Play therapy theory and practice (2nd edition). He regularly presents workshops across the United States and abroad, having presented in Canada, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Mexico, Portugal, Singapore, and South Africa.