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Directive Play Therapy

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Directive Play Therapy

SKU# 9780826130655

Theories and Techniques


  • Elsa Soto Leggett PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S
  • Jennifer N. Boswell PhD, LPC-S, NCC, RPT
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Structured, therapist-led approaches to play therapy are becoming increasingly popular due to their time-limited nature and efficacy for such specific disorders as trauma and attachment issues. This is the first book to provide comprehensive coverage of numerous directive play therapy techniques and interventions that are empirically validated and can be adapted for use in clinical, school, group, and family settings. Designed for both students and practitioners, the text addresses the theoretical bases for these approaches and provides in-depth, practical guidance for their use.

The book describes how directive play therapies differ from nondirective therapies and illustrates best practices in using directive techniques. It examines such diverse approaches as cognitive behavioral, solution focused, sensorimotor, and the use of creative arts in play therapy. Each approach is covered in terms of its theoretical foundation, research basis, specific techniques for practice, and a case example. The text describes how to adapt directive play therapy techniques for use in various contexts, such as with families, in groups, and in schools. Helpful templates for treatment planning and case documentation are also included, making the book a valuable resource for both training courses and practicing professionals in play therapy, clinical mental health counseling, child counseling, school counseling, child and family social work, marriage and family therapy, and clinical child psychology.

Key Features:

  • Delivers step-by-step guidance for using directive play therapy techniques--the first book to do so
  • Addresses theoretical basis, research support, and practical techniques for a diverse range of therapies
  • Covers varied settings and contexts including school, clinical, group, and family settings
  • Includes case studies
  • Provides templates for treatment planning and case documentation

Product Details 

  • Publication Date October 18, 2016
  • Page Count 308
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826130655
  • EISBN 9780826130662

About The Author(s) 

Elsa Soto Leggett, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S, is Associate Professor at the CACREP-accredited program in counseling, University of Houston-Victoria, where she serves as the Chair of Education Leadership and Counseling Department and Program Coordinator of for the Counselor Education program. The current immediate past President of the Association of Child and Adolescent Counseling, Dr. Leggett has also served as the President of the Texas Association for Counselor Education and Supervision. She has contributed original research and book reviews to such peer-reviewed journals as Psychology in the Schools, The Family Journal, Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, and ACA Vistas, and has contributed chapters to a wide range of books, including Art and Creative Development for Young Children, 8th ed.; Integrating the Expressive Arts into Counseling Practice: Theory Based Interventions; ACA Encyclopedia of Counseling; and Critical Incidents in Counseling Children. She also and serves on the editorial review board of Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling. Dr. Leggett has presented numerous workshops and talks to national and regional audiences on such topics as school counseling, directive play therapy, solution-focused counseling, and counseling children and youth.

Jennifer N. Boswell, PhD, LPC-S, NCC, RPT, is an assistant professor at the CACREP-accredited program in Counselor Education, University of Houston-Victoria (UHV). A licensed professional counselor supervisor in Texas, she is also a registered play therapist. Dr. Boswell teaches a wide range of courses at UHV, including Counseling Techniques, Counseling Couples and Families, Introduction to Play Therapy, Child and Adolescent Counseling, and Program Evaluation. Her research focuses on play therapy, religious issues in counseling, counseling supervision, and engaging clients and families in counseling. She is the assistant editor of Mentoring and Tutoring and serves on the editorial review board of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling. Dr. Boswell has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in International Journal of Play Therapy, Journal of Counseling and Development, Professional Issues in Counseling, The Family Journal, Counseling and Values, Mental Health, Religion and Culture, The Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, and Journal of Individual Psychology. She has made numerous presentations at national, regional, and state associations related to counseling, play therapy, education, and Adlerian psychology.

Table of Contents 




1. Directive Play Therapy

Elsa Soto Leggett and Jennifer N. Boswell

Overview of Directive Play Therapy

Toys and Materials

Play Therapy Skills

Cultural Sensitivity

2. Post-Jungian Directive Sandtray in Play Therapy

Elaine Wittmann

Jung's Psychology

Jung Psychology and Children

Jungian Play Therapy

Origins of Sandtray Practices

The Process of Sandtray-Worldplay

Sandtray Materials

Directive Sandtray

Case Examples: Safe Place

3. Solution-Focused Play Therapy

Elsa Soto Leggett

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy

Solution-Focused Play Therapy

SFPT Process

Research Support

Case Example: Daniel's Story

4. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and Play Therapy

Karen Sullivan and Gael Thompson

Research Support

Integrating Play Therapy and EMDR Therapy

Case Example: Amy's Story

5. Directive Play Therapy Techniques in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Evette Horton and Donna Potter

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Research Support

TF-CBT Techniques

Case Example: Joey's Story

6. Child Parent Relationship Theory

Jodie Elder

CPRT History

Filial Therapy Definition and Goals

Role of Therapist

CPRT Model

Research Support


Recommended Resources

Case Example: Sarah's Story

7. Creativity in Play Therapy Using Technology

Linda L. Autry

Research Support


Creative Activities


Case Example: Dori's Story

8. Directive Filial Therapy Models With Very Young Children

Evette Horton, Donna Potter, and Kelly Sullivan

Directive Filial With Young Children

Training in ABC, CPP, and PCIT

Research Support

Filial Model Techniques

Case Example: Sophia's Story

9. Humanistic Sandtray Therapy With Children and Adults

Stephen A. Armstrong, Ryan D. Foster, Tim Brown, and Joan Davis

Humanistic Theory

Research Support

Humanistic Sandtray Therapy: Rationale and Clinical Application


Case Example: Zoe's Story

10. Directive Approaches When Working With Parents

Jennifer N. Boswell

A Rationale for Using Parent Consultations

Methods and Techniques for Parent Involvement

Common Issues: Perceptions and Time Investment of Parent Consultations

Case Example: The Story of Andrew and Ms. V

Appendix A: Directive Play Therapy

Appendix B: Directive Play Skills Feedback

Appendix C: Resources and Information