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Essential Play Therapy Techniques:

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Table of Contents

I. Toy and Object Play Techniques 1. Ball Play 2. Plush Doll Play 3. Medical Play 4. Baby Doll Play 5. Baby Bottle Play 6. Toy Telephone Play 7. Magic Wand Play 8. Bubble Play 9. Block Play 10. Balloon Play 11. Bop Bag Play 12. Sensory Play II. Metaphors and Storytelling Techniques 13. Concrete Play Metaphors 14. Turtle Technique 15. Emotion Thermometer 16. Storytelling 17. Externalization Play 18. Bibliotherapy III. Role-Play Techniques 19. Role Play 20. Costume Play 21. Mask Play 22. Superhero Play 23. Puppet Play IV. Creative Arts Techniques 24. Color Your Life 25. Clay Play 26. Free Drawings 27. Trauma Drawings 28. Mandala Drawings 29. Serial Drawings 30. Collage 31. Painting 32. Dance/Movement Play 33. Draw a Family 34. Family Sculpting 35. Musical Play V. Imagery and Fantasy Techniques 36. Guided Imagery 37. The World Technique 38. Dollhouse Play 39. Adaptive Doll Play 40. Rosebush Fantasy Technique 41. Family Relations Technique 42. Worry Dolls 43. Tea Party Play VI. Game Play Techniques 44. Communication Games 45. Self-Control Games 46. Strategy Games 47. Cooperative Games 48. Chance Games 49. Squiggle Game VII. Other Techniques 50. Desensitization Play 51. Laughter Play 52. Stress Inoculation Play 53. Reenactment Play 54. Hide-and-Seek Play 55. Magic Tricks 56. Feeling Faces 57. Suitcase Playroom 58. Play Therapy Rituals

About the Author

Charles E. Schaefer, PhD, RPT-S, is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is cofounder and director emeritus of the Association for Play Therapy, which recognized him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Schaefer's more than 60 books include Essential Play Therapy Techniques, Short-Term Play Therapy for Children, Third Edition, The Therapeutic Powers of Play, Foundations of Play Therapy, and Play Therapy with Adolescents. He maintains a private practice in child psychotherapy in Hackensack, New Jersey. Donna Cangelosi, PsyD, RPT-S, maintains a private practice with children, adolescents, and adults in Wayne, New Jersey, where she practices psychotherapy, clinical supervision, and parent education. She is coeditor of Play Therapy Techniques and The Playing Cure and author of Saying Goodbye in Child Psychotherapy. Dr. Cangelosi has authored a number of professional articles and chapters on the theory and application of psychodynamic play therapy.


"What a wealth of information! Each chapter describes a type of play and its historical roots and empirical support. Uses of each type of play are detailed, providing an understanding of the therapeutic benefits. The relevant age range is clearly identified. Specific suggestions are given for selecting materials and tailoring techniques for different clients, which makes implementation easy. As a recommended text, the book will give students the knowledge needed to discriminate among different techniques. Thanks for this fresh look at the classics!"--Linda E. Homeyer, PhD, LPCS, RPT-S, Professional Counseling Program, Texas State University "A gem of a book. The authors have taken a transtheoretical approach to their selection of tried-and-true techniques for therapists of all theoretical orientations. The techniques are organized into clear categories and include helpful variations, making this a unique toolbox for clinicians who work with children."--Athena A. Drewes, PsyD, RPT-S, Director of Clinical Training, Astor Services for Children and Families, Middletown, New York "Schaefer and Cangelosi offer a unique contribution to the field with this comprehensive exploration of play therapy techniques that have stood the test of time. Unlike many guides to play activities, the book includes a rationale for the use of each technique, empirical findings, and contraindications. It successfully combines applications and clinical foundations. This informative resource will prove useful for both novice and seasoned play therapists."--Sueann Kenney-Noziska, LCSW, RPT-S, private practice, Las Cruces, New Mexico

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