Play Therapy

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This course provides an enhancement of counseling skills in working with individuals and families at a deeper level than those theories present in the curriculum. The purpose of a course in Play Therapy is to encourage communication more naturally through the manipulation of toys and objects in a safe environment.  This course provides relevant and cognitive training for problem solving in the area of child behavior and development. A course of this nature develops a student’s capability to identify and select solutions to social problems related to child, adolescent and adult development. Play Therapy allows for a more adequate means than words to express the significant persons and events in his/her life. Nonverbal skills are taught in the counseling curriculum; however, Play Therapy training provides the student a different set of techniques to work with children, adolescents, adults, and families.



  • Identifying and utilizing the contributions of play and sand tray therapy theorists.
  • Applying developmental attributes of play and sand tray therapy to the practice of therapy with children, adolescents, adults and families.
  • Applying play therapy models to group, individual and family formats.
  • Defining the personal characteristics of a play therapist.
  • Identifying categories of toys.
  • Analyzing rationale for toy/miniature selections in play and sand tray therapy by case study.
  • Developing a play therapy traveling kit or generate a list of appropriate play therapy materials to be used for evaluation and treatment.
  • Writing a treatment plan and case study using play and sand tray therapy
  • Identifying stages of play and sand tray therapy and provide appropriate therapeutic techniques. 
  • Developing key elements in a play therapy relationship.
  • Identifying the uses of play and sand tray therapy in school, private practice and community mental health environments.
  • Demonstrating basic play and sand tray therapy skills (with non-clinical volunteers) including (but not limited to) structuring, tracking, reflection of content and process, returning responsibility, facilitating self-advocacy skills, and limit setting.
  • Identifying and limiting the typical problems in play and sand tray therapy sessions.
  • Being cognizant of relationship issues including transference and countertransference.
  • Working cooperatively with child protective services, educational services, other mental health professionals and medical personnel.

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