APT content area: Seminal Theories and Skills & Methods

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2023 IntrotoCC.pdf

Introduction to Child Centered Play Therapy 


This workshop will explore and practice the eight basic principles of non-directive play therapy as set forth by Virginia Axline (1969).  These principles provide the foundation for child-centered play therapy as it is practiced today.  Unlike more behaviorally-oriented therapies, child-centered play therapy is not directed toward specific problems or populations, but are generic in nature.  That is, they aim at improving self-esteem and the feelings underlying inappropriate behaviors.  Feelings such as frustration, anger, performance anxiety, separation anxiety, fear of abandonment, or concerns about personal safety which manifest in inappropriate and maladaptive behaviors can be addressed through encouraging the child to play them out in the safe, interpersonal atmosphere of a play session and in the presence of a warm, caring adult (Guerney, 1983).

Learning Objectives: 

Following the workshop, participants will be able to:

1. articulate the essence of play therapy as a natural mode of communication for young children in which play is the language and toys are a child’s words;

2. describe the essential nature of the relationship in play therapy;

3. discuss the role of permissiveness while providing appropriate limitations;

4. explain expression and reflection of feelings in the context of play therapy;

5. develop a representation of an inclusive space;

6. demonstrate the basic concepts of child-centered play therapy; and, 

7. recognize the developmental needs of children and how play therapy can be a positive intervention when development is not progressing in a typical fashion

Instructor Bio:

Geri Glover has worked with children and families for over 30 years in education, day treatment programs, private practice, mental health clinics, and is currently Professor and Chair of the Counseling Department at New Mexico Highlands University. She completed research in Filial Therapy with Native Americans residing on the Flathead Reservation in northern Montana in honor of her Salish ancestry. Her research has appeared in such publications as The School Counselor Journal and The International Journal of Play Therapy. Dr. Glover is a strong advocate of multicultural awareness and its importance in the therapeutic relationship. She has numerous publications, and is co-author of Play Therapy Interventions with Children’s Problems.

Geri Glover, PhD, LPCC, RPT-S