Clinical Applications of the Therapeutic Powers of Play : Case Studies in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy book cover
1st Edition

Clinical Applications of the Therapeutic Powers of Play
Case Studies in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

ISBN 9780367341091
Published March 18, 2021 by Routledge
196 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Clinical Applications of the Therapeutic Powers of Play provides a way to link abstract theory with practice-based knowledge and vice versa, navigating the complexities of clinical reasoning associated with age-sensitive, and most often non-verbal psychotherapies.

The book invites readers into the world of child psychotherapy and into the play therapy room. It equips them to explore, discover and identify the therapeutic powers of play in action, within traditional and nature-based therapeutic environments. Using embodiment-projective-role, it navigates the developmental stages linking play and the achievement of physical, emotional, and social identity. With captivating stories of hope and repair, the book deconstructs the therapy process to better understand how play facilitates communication, fosters emotional wellness, increases personal strengths, and enhances social relationships.

This comprehensive text will help the therapist navigate through the world of child and adolescent psychotherapy and explain the therapeutic powers of play through relevant clinical case studies.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Landscape; 1, Children Speak Play: Introducing the Therapeutic Powers of Play; 2, The EPR Informed Psychotherapist; 3, Integrating the therapeutic powers of play in traditional clinical practice settings; 4, Integrating the therapeutic powers of play in nature-based settings; Section 2: Continents; 5, Calming Christopher: The Regulating Powers of Sensory Play; 6, It’s a Small World: Projective Play; 7, Learning to Play: The Art and Science of Pretence; 8, Finding Sally: Discovering the Self in Role Play; Section 3: Four corners of the world; 9, Alex Plays his Unspeakable Story: Facilitating Communication; 10, Polly Meets Maddie: Fostering Emotional Wellness; 11, Sammy and the Three-Legged Cat: Enhancing Social Relationships; 12: An Hour at Le Mans: Increasing Personal Strengths

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Eileen Prendiville is the Director of Academic Affairs at the Children’s Therapy Centre (CTC) in Westmeath, Ireland. She founded this centre and designed its play therapy and psychotherapy training programmes including the Master of Arts in Creative Psychotherapy. She was also a founding member of the Children at Risk in Ireland Foundation and was National Clinical Director until 2004 when she moved to CTC.

Judi A. Parson Ph.D., MA Play Therapy, M.Hth Sc., G.Dip Paeds, RN, RPT-S (APPTA and BAPT). Academic Course Director, Master of Child Play Therapy, Deakin University. Judi supervises a range of play therapy research projects and Ph.D. students and maintains a small private practice.


This book is creative, sound and importantly forward-thinking. It moves the whole world of Play Therapy into new practice and research. I strongly recommend it for professionals and trainees alike. You won’t just read it once!

Professor Sue Jennings

Senior Research Fellow, The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham 

Distinguished Scholar, University of the Witwatersrand 

Honorary Fellow, University of Roehampton 

The Therapeutic Powers of Play are the core agents for change in play therapy. Prendiville and Parson have assembled a group of experts to give the reader a deeper understanding of these powers through a comprehensive text which includes relevant clinical cases to bridge abstract theory with actual therapeutic interventions. This text is ideal for play therapists around the world as it enlightens all about the developmental stages linking play and the achievement of physical, emotional and social identity.  This book will enhance the library of all child and adolescent psychotherapists.

Heidi Gerard Kaduson, Ph.D.


The Play Therapy Training Institute, Monroe Township, New Jersey