Integrating Play Techniques in Comprehensive School Counseling Programs

Edited by:
Jennifer Curry, Louisiana State University
Laura Fazio-Griffith, Southeastern Louisiana University

Published 2013

Play therapy interventions are critical elements of providing responsive services within the context of comprehensive school counseling programs. However, many school counselors are not trained in the use of play therapy techniques during their graduate training programs as Play Therapy is not a required course based on standards set by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) (2009). Indeed, while there are over 400 school counseling programs in the U. S., there are only 11 certified play therapy training centers. Even more critically, school counselors may not know which play therapy approaches and interventions are evidenced based for specific childhood concerns (e. g., selective mutism, social skills deficits, parent deployment).

Play therapy is a structured, theoretically-based approach to counseling that builds on the normal communicative and learning processes of children as they may not have developed the complexities of language to accurately express their concerns (Carmichael, 2006; Gil, 1991; Landreth, 2002; O'Connor & Schaefer, 1983). Further, children who are most in crisis may be the ones who need play concepts integrated in counseling; yet, many school counselors are unprepared to provide these vital resources. The focus of this book is on various play techniques and the application of various play therapy theories (i. e., Child Centered Play Therapy, Solution Focused Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy) within comprehensive school counseling programs, addressing various childhood concerns, prevention and intervention. Each chapter offers vignettes, a literature review of a specific childhood concern (e.g., homelessness, separation anxiety), pragmatic interventions for the school environment, and a case study to demonstrate application of techniques.

Introduction to Edited Book, Jennifer R. Curry and Laura Fazio-Griffith. Incorporating Play Interventions With Individual and Small Group Counseling in Schools, Jacqueline M. Swank. Using Play Techniques to Address Student Grief and Loss, Peggy L. Ceballos and June M. Williams. Using Play Techniques for Family Substance Abuse Concerns, Jonathan H. Ohrt, Jenifer N. Ware, and Dodie Limberg. Finding their Voice: Empowering Students With Selective Mutism, Angela I. Sheely-Moore. Adlerian Play Therapy in a School Setting for Children Whose Caregivers Are Mentally Ill, Barbara B. Hebert. Using Play Therapy Techniques in Counseling Children With Deployed Parents, Jennifer R. Curry. Integrating Play Techniques With Students Experiencing Academic Challenges, Jonathan H. Ohrt, Dodie Limberg, and Jenifer N. Ware. Playing in Peril: Integrating Play Therapy With Responsive Services Following a Natural Disaster, Jennifer N. Baggerly and Eric J. Green. Children With an Incarcerated Parent: Child-Centered Play Therapy, M. Ann Shillingford, S. Trice-Black, and M. Whitfield-Williams. Demonstrating School Counselor Effectiveness in Counseling Using Play Therapy Techniques, Jolie Ziomek-Daigle and Kelly Cowart. Integrating Playful Activities and Games Within School Counseling Small Groups, Jacqueline M. Swank. Choice Reality Play Therapy for Children Involved in Bullying, Kimberly L. Mason. Anger Management and Adlerian Play Therapy, M. Ann Shillingford and S. Kent Butler. Play Therapy: Interventions for Children With Asperger’s Syndrome, Ashley Churbock. Reactive Attachment Disorder: Play Therapy Interventions for School Settings, Julie A. Ritchie. School-Based Play Therapy for Students With Separation Anxiety, Vanessa Bowles. Using Play Techniques to Address Social Skills Deficits, Laura Fazio-Griffith. Helping Homeless Children in Schools: Play Therapy Interventions, Erin M. Dugan. About the Authors.