Cognitive-Behavioral Play Therapy (CBPT) incorporates cognitive
and behavioral interventions within a play therapy paradigm. It provides
a theoretical framework based on cognitive-behavioral principles and
integrates these in a developmentally sensitive way. Thus, play as well
as verbal and nonverbal approaches are used in resolving problems. CBPT
differs from nondirective play therapy, which avoids any direct discussion of the child's difficulties. A specific problem-solving
approach is utilized, which helps the child develop more adaptive
thoughts and behaviors. Cognitive-behavioral therapies are based on the
premise that cognitions determine how people feel and act, and that
faulty cognitions can contribute to psychological disturbance.
Cognitive-behavioral therapies focus on identifying maladaptive
thoughts, understanding the assumptions behind the thoughts, and
learning to correct or counter the irrational ideas that interfere with
healthy functioning. Since their development approximately twenty-five
years ago, such therapies have traditionally been used with adults and
only more recently with adolescents and children. It has commonly been
thought that preschool-age and school-age children are too young to
understand or correct distortions in their thinking. However, the recent
development of CBPT reveals that cognitive strategies can be used
effectively with young children if treatments are adapted in order to be
developmentally sensitive and attuned to the child's needs. For
example, while the methods of cognitive therapy can be communicated to
adults directly, these may need to be conveyed to children indirectly,
through play activities. In particular, puppets and stuffed animals can
be very helpful in modeling the use of cognitive strategies such as
countering irrational beliefs and making positive self-statements. CBPT
is structured and goal oriented and intervention is directive in nature.
Play Therapy Primary Areas:
Seminal / Historically Significant Theories
Skills and Methods
Recite how CBPT can be used with preschool and early school age children.
Describe the developmental issues inherent in integrating CBT and play therapy.
Discuss how cognitive and behavioral interventions can be integrated into play therapy.
List the similarities and differences between CBPT and more traditional play therapies.
Explain the importance of generalization, relapse prevention and planned termination in CBPT.