Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Susan C. M. Crane
Play therapy can be defined as a cluster of theory-driven treatment modalities used to establish an interpersonal process wherein trained play therapists help clients prevent or resolve psychosocial difficulties, facilitate optimal development, and reestablish the ability to engage in adaptive play behavior. For more than half a century, it has been the most prevalent child mental health therapy in the United States. While play therapy is traditionally implemented with children ages 3 to 12, many play therapy techniques (e.g., tray construction with miniature objects) are also used as therapeutic interventions with teenagers and adults. There is no single play therapy approach; instead, there are several prominent theoretical schools of thought and numerous play therapy techniques. Though play therapy is most often used as an individual therapy, it is also implemented via group play therapy and family play therapy. Often, professional therapists conduct the play therapy, but parents and other care ...