Unpacking Play Therapy Themes: A Key to Effective Parent Engagement

Jan 23, 2024

In this episode of the Play Therapy Podcast, we dive into the practical application of understanding and using play therapy themes, which have been a hot topic in the therapy community. Recognizing and documenting themes in therapy sessions is not just for the therapist’s clinical understanding but primarily for communicating with parents. Parents often want tangible and measurable outcomes from therapy, and discussing themes in the context of how they lead to the desired after state for the child can help parents understand the value of play therapy. Themes also provide a framework for the child-centered model, offering a way to track progress in therapy and demonstrate its effectiveness to skeptics. While mastering themes is important, it’s okay if it takes time to recognize them during sessions, as long as therapists can reflect on them later.

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References:

  • Cochran, N., Nordling, W., & Cochran, J. (2010). Child-Centered Play Therapy (1st ed.). Wiley.
  • VanFleet, R., Sywulak, A. E., & Sniscak, C. C. (2010). Child-centered play therapy. Guilford Press.
  • Landreth, G. L. (2002). Play therapy: The art of the relationship (2nd ed.). Brunner-Routledge.
  • Bratton, S. C., Landreth, G. L., Kellam, T., & Blackard, S. R. (2006). Child parent relationship therapy (CPRT) treatment manual: A 10-session filial therapy model for training parents. Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Benedict, Helen. Themes in Play Therapy. Used with permission to Heartland Play Therapy Institute.
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