International Journal of Play Therapy® Tests


Starting with the January 2018 issue, earn non-contact continuing education credit by completing tests based upon the International Journal of Play Therapy®. APT Members may refer to their print or online journal access to complete the tests.

  • Price includes CE test only.


Continuing Education

APA. The Association for Play Therapy (APT) is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. APT maintains responsibility for this program and its content.



NBCC. The Association for Play Therapy (APT) has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5636. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. APT is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.



APT. The Association for Play Therapy (APT) offers continuing education specific to play therapy. APT Approved Provider 95-100 maintains responsibility for the program.


Sessions

Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Play Therapy: Adapting Child-Centered Play Therapy for Deaf Children


Date : April 2019

Volume Issue : Volume 28, Issue 2

Level : Intermediate

Credits: None available.

Children with deafness face societal obstacles every day that require navigation of environmental and communication factors. Deaf children raised in hearing families encounter barriers to development in a hearing world that limits their expression of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Child-centered play therapy may provide an opportunity for deaf children to experience a therapeutic relationship that fosters the child’s growth and exploration of thoughts, feelings, and emotions in an open and accepting environment. Modifying practices of child-centered play therapy to meet the needs of deaf children using American Sign Language can provide a new opportunity for therapeutic access for these children in a culturally responsive manner.

Learning Objectives:
  • Provide readers with knowledge about providing culturally and linguistically responsive care to deaf children by adapting Child-Centered Play Therapy through the use of American Sign Language.
  • Recognize ways to accommodate the play room for deaf children.
  • Develop an understanding of deaf culture and norms to incorporate in their client’s conceptualization.
Speaker(s):
Standard: $10.00

To Know or Not To Know: Empathic Use of Client Background Information in Child-Centered Play Therapy


Date : January 2019

Volume Issue : Volume 28, Issue 1

Level : Intermediate

Credits: None available.

Within a decidedly here and now framework, child-centered play therapists face a dilemma regarding use of background information. Gathering a psychosocial history is commonly recommended, but there is little discussion about how to make use of that information within a fundamentally nondirective approach. In child-centered play therapy (CCPT), the therapist does not direct the focus or content of therapy, nor does he or she aim at changing the child. Rather, the therapist attempts to understand the child from his or her own frame of reference and to accept the child exactly as he or she is in the present moment to facilitate the child’s own constructive, creative, and self-healing power. This article explores a tension in the CCPT literature concerning whether or not therapist use of client background information impedes this nondirective, empathic attitude. Theoretical assumptions underlying the debate are examined, and empathy is theorized from a phenomenological perspective as both affective and cognitive, deeply relational, and aimed at understanding the child’s present and past experiences. Case examples illustrate circumspect use of client background information consistent with CCPT. The article concludes with training and research implications.

Learning Objectives:
  • Provide readers with knowledge about the use of client background information within child-centered play therapy.
  • Examine empathy from a theoretical perspective that draws on phenomenology and person-centered practice.
  • Provide readers with examples of skills for using client background information to enhance empathy within child-centered play therapy.
Speaker(s):
Standard: $10.00

Adapting Child-Centered Play Therapy for Children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy


Date : October 2018

Volume Issue : Volume 27, Issue 4

Level : Intermediate

Credits: None available.

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the foremost genetic cause of infant mortality.Although the current standard of care for diagnosed individuals is well-established,interventions that potentially facilitate the socio-emotional health of children with SMAare lacking. As of today, the use of play therapy for children with unique physical needs, such as those with SMA, have not been documented in research. Play therapy can benefit children with SMA because it provides an environment where children discover their own strengths and develop a greater sense of self-responsibility and self-reliance. Specifically, child-centered play therapy may be beneficial by focusing not on the child’s diagnosis, but rather on the child’s self-concept and freedom of expression. This article includes a general overview of SMA, suggests adaptive ways to incorporate the use of child-centered play therapy to best meet the needs of children diagnosed with SMA, and addresses other considerations related to the family context.

Learning Objectives:
  • Provide readers with an overview of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
  • Discuss the rationale for the use of child-centered play therapy with this population.
  • Explain recommendations for adapting play therapy in order to be effective with children with SMA and other neuromuscular disorders.
Speaker(s):
Standard: $10.00

Efficacy of the Flipped Classroom to Teach Play Therapy: A Mixed-Methods Study


Date : July 2018

Volume Issue : Volume 27, Issue 3

Level : Intermediate

Credits: None available.

This mixed-methods study, including quantitative and qualitative measures, evaluated how a flipped classroom learning environment that included a hands-on experiential skills lab to teach play therapy improved student’s knowledge, attitude,and skills related to play therapy. Participating students (n18) completed the Play Therapy Knowledge, Attitudes, and Skills Survey (PTKASS) at the beginning and the end of the course. Students also reflected upon their experience in the skills lab each week in anonymous online feedback journals, which were analyzed at the conclusion of the semester for common themes by multiple coders. Students scores were significantly different on all sub scales of the PTKASS: attitude (p.0012),knowledge (p.001), with the biggest growth in the skills sub scale (p.001). Through concurrent triangulation, these differences directly correlated to relevant qualitative themes that emerged from student feedback journals. The results of this study indicate strong support for the flipped classroom as an opportunity to develop graduate students’ knowledge, attitudes, and skills in play therapy.

Learning Objectives:
  • Describe a case study in which a flipped classroom format is used to enhance masters' students learning of play therapy attitudes, skills, and knowledge.
  • Discuss how students perceived the flipped classroom format experiential learning and how it impacts their engagement with play therapy theory and skills.
  • Understand how the PTKASS is used to measure graduate play therapy students’ competencies.
Speaker(s):
Standard: $10.00

Practitioner Experiences of Touch in Working With Children in Play Therapy


Date : April 2018

Volume Issue : Volume 27, Issue 2

Level : Intermediate

Credits: None available.

Issues related to touch in play therapy has rarely been researched or addressed within the literature. An original touch questionnaire instrument was created for this research—and first pilot tested—to capture practitioners’ professional and clinical attitudes related to touch within child play therapy sessions. The data was analyzed based on the responses from the 246 practitioners who completed the survey in full.This exploratory research examined practitioner attitudes related to varied types of touch (e.g., shaking hands, hugging, holding) in working with children and teenagers in play therapy sessions. Additional findings are presented to include practitioners’ concerns of liability about touch, their knowledge related to professional code of ethics,experiences of training in touch and child restraint, and policy practices such as an informed consent addressing issues of touch within therapy sessions. The outcomes underscored the need for practitioners to develop clinical and ethical competencies in touch with recommendations toward curricula in university graduate programs, and in continuing education trainings including mandatory supervisory seminars.

Learning Objectives:
  • Discuss the results of a nationwide survey conducted with play therapists and their professional knowledge and attitudes related to the ethical and clinical issues of touch within play therapy.
  • Practitioners will be able to list five different types of touch that can happen within play therapy sessions.
  • Understand at least three concerns of liability related to touch in therapy sessions with children.
Speaker(s):
Standard: $10.00

Peer Feedback Within a Play Therapy Course: A Qualitative Exploration


Date : January 2018

Level : Intermediate

Volume Issue : Volume 27, Issue 1

Credits: None available.

Feedback is an essential component of counselor development. In this study, the researcher explored the integration of a peer feedback model that involved live observation and peer feedback sessions within an introductory play therapy course. There searcher conducted interviews with 6 counseling students, who engaged in the model,to explore their perspectives about the peer feedback experience. The analysis revealed6 broad themes: (a) class structure, (b) approach to feedback, (c) power of observation,(d) relationships and trust, (e) growth process, and (f) model improvements. Addition-ally, 2 of the themes had sub-themes: 3 sub-themes within the class structure theme: (a)experience with children, (b) live and video review feedback, and (c) peer and instructor feedback; and 2 sub-themes within the model improvements theme: (a)feedback training, and (b) multiple perspectives. The researcher discusses the themes,and then presents the implications for training play therapists.

Learning Objectives:
  • Examine the literature on peer feedback.
  • Integrate a peer feedback model within an introductory play therapy course.
  • Explore students' experiences with engaging in a peer feedback model as a component of a play therapy course.
Speaker(s):
Standard: $10.00

Child-Centered Play Therapy Parent Services: A Q-Methodological Investigation


Date : July 2020

Volume Issue : Volume 29, Issue 3

Level : Intermediate

Credits: None available.

A Q-methodology study was conducted to gain a better understanding of parents’ needs and expectations in child-centered play therapy (CCPT). Parents completed a 40-item Q-sort, during which they sorted items on a continuum of least important to most important. Items included services and processes regarded by CCPT scholars and child therapy practitioners as being important to working with parents. Data were collected from 19 parents of children receiving CCPT services in a community-based counseling clinic. Eighteen parents reported similar beliefs regarding the processes they consider most and least important to their experience in working with child-centered play therapists. In general, parents’ beliefs aligned with CCPT philosophy, particularly in regards to respecting children’s natural pace of development and healing. Furthermore, parents shared preferences for play therapists who demonstrate expert knowledge and training and who understand the individual needs of their children. Discussion includes implications for the practice of CCPT, training of future play therapists, and future research, along with limitations of the study.

Learning Objectives:
  • Describe processes/services typically provided to parents during child-centered play therapy.
  • Identify components of Q-Methodology research.
  • Discuss reported values and expectations of parents of children participating in child-centered play therapy.
  • Discuss reported values and expectations of parents of children participating in child-centered play therapy.
Speaker(s):
Standard: $10.00

The Effect of Child-centered Play Therapy on the Externalizing Behaviors of Low-income Male Preschoolers: A Single-case Design Study


Date : April 2020

Volume Issue : Volume 29, Issue 2

Level : Intermediate

Credits: None available.

Low-income male preschoolers with externalizing behaviors are known to have continued behavior issues throughout elementary school, middle school, high school, and into adulthood (Brennan, Shaw, Dishion, & Wilson, 2012). Not only do they experience problems, but also their behavior creates stress for their teachers (Friedman-Krauss, Raver, Neuspiel, & Kinsel, 2014). It is important to identify children with demanding externalizing behaviors and to provide interventions that support their development. In this study, a single subject reversal design was used to examine the effects of child-centered play therapy (CCPT) on the externalizing behaviors of 5 low-income male preschoolers during group instructional time who scored the highest on the Externalizing Subscale of the Child Behavior Checklist/Caregiver–Teacher Report Form for Ages 1½–5 (C-TRF 1.5–5; Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001). These 5 children were observed and assessed twice a week on the Externalizing Subscale of the C-TRF by 2 blind observers. The child with the highest score on the C-TRF 1.5–5 (Student A) completed the reversal design, which included 21 30-min play therapy sessions. The results of this study showed a functional relation between CCPT and externalizing behaviors with this child. The study also indicated that as this child began the intervention and his externalizing behaviors decreased, the other 4 male students’ externalizing behaviors decreased as well.

Learning Objectives:
  • Demonstrate an effective approach for counselors to help reduce the externalizing behavior in pre-school children.
  • Examine the impact of one child’s externalizing behavior on the other students in the classroom.
  • Identify a design that can be used by clinicians in their everyday jobs.
Speaker(s):
Standard: $10.00

Fostering Resilience in Classrooms through Child Teacher Relationship Training


Operation Level : Intermediate

Date : January 2020

Volume Issue : Volume 29, Issue 1

Level : Intermediate

Credits: None available.

Working in schools characterized by poverty and low student achievement can be stressful for the teachers and can lead to teacher emotional exhaustion and burnout. These teachers often report a lack of training on effective ways to support the emotional needs of children. This study
reports the findings of the first year of a 3-year program evaluation that examined the impact of child–teacher relationship training (CTRT) on teachers’ stress, perception of children, social justice attitudes, and ability to demonstrate the CTRT skills in the classroom at a school identified as 1 of 3 schools in the state to institute a trauma-informed program. This phenomenological pilot study explored the experiences of 4 kindergarten teachers who participated in child–teacher relationship training. The teachers worked in a school identified to participate in a
statewide resilience project because of the high percentage of children in the school who lived in poverty. The qualitative analysis identified 5 themes regarding their experience: training, skills, developing relationships, obstacles/challenges, and commitment. Limitations,
directions for future research, and implications for school-based play therapists and school counselors are discussed.

Learning Objectives:
  • Provide information about a how a child-teacher relationship training research project was conducted in a school characterized by poverty and low student achievement.
  • Provide information about infusing issues of social justice intro CTRT.
  • Provide information about the experiences of four kindergarten teachers who participated in the training.
Speaker(s):
Standard: $10.00

Signs and Barriers: Play Therapy Training Experiences of Deaf and Hearing Clinicians


Date : October 2019

Volume Issue : Volume 28, Issue 4

Level : Intermediate

Credits: None available.

A considerable amount of research exists covering the efficacy of play therapy training models; however, research is not robust when looking at the best training methods applicable for practitioners who may encounter a deaf or hard-of-hearing client. The purpose of the current qualitative study was to explore lived play therapy training experiences, including supervision experiences of mental health professionals who have used play therapy with deaf and/or hard-of-hearing clients. Questions explored the lived experiences and perceptions of both pre-service and mental health professionals regarding their play therapy training experiences related to people who are deaf as well as what they perceived to be the effectiveness of their training. Several salient themes emerged to include access to play therapy training and supervision, the value of kinesthetic practice, the importance of process-oriented supervision, depth provided by intensive workshops, and participants’ difficulties adapting play therapy for deaf and hard-of-hearing clients.

Learning Objectives:
  • Discuss training gaps for mental health professionals who use play therapy with deaf and hard-of-hearing clients.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of professionals’ perceptions of the effectiveness of their play therapy training experiences when working with deaf and hard of hearing clients.
  • Explore topics in need of further exploration with regard to play therapy training with deaf and hard-of-hearing clients.
Speaker(s):
Standard: $10.00
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