Annals of Indian Psychiatry

: 2017  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 56--57

Handbook of play therapy – 2nd edition

Avinash De Sousa 
 Department of Psychiatry, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Avinash De Sousa
Department of Psychiatry, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College, Mumbai, Maharashtra

How to cite this article:
De Sousa A. Handbook of play therapy – 2nd edition.Ann Indian Psychiatry 2017;1:56-57

How to cite this URL:
De Sousa A. Handbook of play therapy – 2nd edition. Ann Indian Psychiatry [serial online] 2017 [cited 2023 Feb 7 ];1:56-57
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Full Text

Edited By : Kevin J. O'Connor, Charles E. Schaefer and Lisa D. Braverman Wiley, 2015

Hardback : 720 pages

Language : English

ISBN-10 : 1118859827

ISBN-13 : 9781118859827


The second edition of the Handbook of Play Therapy is a complete, comprehensive play therapy resource for mental health professionals and is a one-stop resource for play therapists with coverage of all major aspects written by experts in the field. This edition with 35 chapters consolidates the coverage updated to reflect the newest findings and practices of the field.

It is a book written in simple and lucid language useful for new and experienced practitioners alike and provides a comprehensive introduction and overview of play therapy including theory and technique, special populations, and play therapy in nontraditional settings along with professional and contemporary issues. Each of the 35 chapters is written by well-known and respected academics and practitioners in each topic area and includes research, assessment, strategies, and clinical application.

The first section is a beautiful introduction to the basic concepts of play therapy and starts with chapter 1 which is a basic introduction moving on to chapter 2 which is a beautiful treatise on the history of play therapy. I do not think such a compilation of the history of play therapy has been written anywhere as in this book. The psychological aspects of play along with its therapeutic powers form the third chapter which is a useful read for psychologists, and practitioners who wish to use play in the therapeutic arena.

The second section of the book is devoted solely to the various types of play therapy. Chapters describe in details the concepts of Psychoanalytic and Jungian play therapy, Child-centered play therapy, Cognitive-behavioral play therapy, Filial therapy, Ecosystemic play therapy, and Prescriptive play therapy. Each chapter is an insight into different schools of play therapy and discusses each system of play therapy in detail. It provides enough insight for both the novice and the seasoned play therapist.

The third section deals with core techniques of play therapy. Sandplay, metaphors, stories, expressive arts, the use of drama and board games as well as card games are discussed in details, and the various ways, in which these can be used in detail with children, are described along with the material needed for play therapy. It is a very good read for beginners who aim to set up their play therapy units.

Section 4 is the most important section from a clinical point of view as it is discussed special populations and scenarios that may be seen in clinical practice. The role of play therapy across the lifespan along with the role of parent–child interaction therapy in disruptive behavior disorders is elucidated. Floortime-based play therapy for autism spectrum disorders, play therapy for children with attachment problems, and play therapy with children that have been experiencing abuse are discussed in detail. A special mention goes to a chapter on play therapy with children in disaster settings which shall help deal with children in the wake of trauma and natural disasters. Play therapy in the hospital setting and the role of play with children that have medical illness are also discussed.

Section 5 amalgamates the information described above and discusses play therapy in school and medical settings. A special mention goes to a chapter on play therapy and legal systems which is useful when medicolegal cases may be involved.

Sections 6 and 7 devote their energies to specialized aspects of play therapy and focus on topics such as ethics in play therapy, play therapy supervision, the neuroscience of play therapy, cultural diversity, and play therapy as well as research in play therapy. This is a section reserved for those who are looking at certain advanced aspects of play therapy.

Overall, the book is a one-stop guide and resource for play therapy in the current modern era. The book may be read by psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, occupational therapists, special educators, and parents who want to learn more about play therapy. It must, in fact, be made a text that is a reference when used in short-term play therapy diploma courses.