Infant Play Therapy : Foundations, Models, Programs, and Practice book cover
1st Edition

Infant Play Therapy
Foundations, Models, Programs, and Practice

Edited By

Janet A. Courtney

ISBN 9781138613300
Published March 25, 2020 by Routledge
288 Pages

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USD $39.95

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Book Description

Infant Play Therapy is a groundbreaking resource for practitioners interested in the varied play therapy theories, models, and programs available for the unique developmental needs of infants and children under the age of three.

The impressive list of expert contributors in the fields of play therapy and infant mental health cover a wide range of early intervention play-based models and topics. Chapters explore areas including: neurobiology, developmental trauma, parent-infant attachment relationships, neurosensory play, affective touch, grief and loss, perinatal depression, adoption, autism, domestic violence, sociocultural factors, and more. Chapter case studies highlight leading approaches and offer techniques to provide a comprehensive understanding of both play therapy and the ways we understand and recognize the therapeutic role of play with infants.

In these pages professionals and students alike will find valuable clinical resources to bring healing to family systems with young children.

Table of Contents

PART I. 1. Conceptualizing Infant Play Therapy in the Context of Infant Mental Health Janet A. Courtney 2. The Impact of Play on the Developing Social Brain: New Insights from the Neurobiology of Touch Emily Jackson and Francis McGlone 3. Neurosensory Play in the Infant-Parent Dyad: An Infant Play Therapy Model Ken Schwartzenberger PART II. 4. Playability: Observing, Engaging, and Sequencing Play Skills for Very Young Children. Judi Parsons, Karen Stagnitti, Bridget Dooley, and Kate Renshaw 5. Trauma Informed Infant Mental Health Assessment Eva Nowakowski-Sims and Danna Powers PART III. 6. FirstPlay® Therapy Strengthens the Attachment Relationship Between a Mother with Perinatal Depression and her Infant Karen Baldwin, Meyleen Velasquez and Janet A. Courtney 7. Infant Filial Therapy – From Conception to Early Years: Clinical considerations for working with whole family systems. Kate Renshaw and Judi Parsons 8. Intervening with Theraplay with a 13-Month old Diagnosed with Medical Complications Hanna Lampi PART IV. 9. Baby Doll Circle Time: Strengthening Attunement, Attachment and Social Play Becky Bailey 10. DIR/Floor Time: A Developmental/Relational Play Therapy Model in the Treatment of Infants and Toddlers Exhibiting the Early Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder Esther Hess 11. Reflections of Love in the Teacup Preemie Program®: Strengthening the Attachment Relationship through FirstPlay® Infant Story-Massage Chelsea Johnson PART V. 12. Using the Healing Power of Relationships to Support Change in Young Children Exposed to Trauma: Application of The Child-Parent Psychotherapy Model Harleen Hutchinson 13. Incorporating Play into Child-Parent Psychotherapy as an Intervention with Infants Exposed to Domestic Violence Allison Golden and Veronica Castro 14. Trust Based Relational Intervention with a Two-Year-Old—An adoption Case Montserrat Casado-Kehoe, Casey Call, David Cross, and Henry Milton PART VI. 15. Children Born Opioid-Addicted: Symptoms, Attachment and Play Treatment Athena Drewes 16. Hope after the storm: Addressing the impact of perinatal grief on attachment with rainbow babies through an embodied grief process. Renee Turner and Christina Villarreal-Davis 17. Healing Reactive Attachment Disorder with Young Children through FirstPlay® Kinesthetic Storytelling Janet A. Courtney, Viktoria Bakai Toth, and Carmen Jimenez-Pride

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Janet A. Courtney, PhD, RPT-S is founder of FirstPlay Therapy® and editor of Touch in Child Counseling and Play Therapy: An Ethical and Clinical Guide. She is an internationally recognized author and trainer specializing in infant mental health, developmental trauma, therapeutic storytelling and expressive, nature and somatic play therapies.


"This fascinating and useful text expands the focus of play therapy to include children from birth to age three. It will help mental health practitioners expand their knowledge about how play influences the developing brain and about how to enhance the reciprocal parent-infant relationship. An important contribution to the growing field of infant mental health."

Nancy Boyd Webb, DSW, LICSW, RPT-S, university distinguished professor of social work emerita, Fordham University; author/editor, supervisor, speaker, consultant.

"The field of play therapy, and indeed, the entire field of infant and child psychotherapy have long been waiting for a book of this magnitude to come along! Dr. Courtney and her colleagues have weaved a coherent and comprehensive book detailing theory, practice, and the importance of play-based, attachment-informed interventions. This book truly is a gem and will inform readers for generations to come."

Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S, director of child and adolescent services, Wasatch Family Therapy, Salt Lake City, UT and author of Attachment Centered Play Therapy.

"At a time when play is being understood for developmental mental health in all children, Janet Courtney has gathered together experts in several fields and captured the essence of play for infants, and how to incorporate play therapy into their lives as well. This is a book that should be on the shelves of all clinicians who see children of all ages."

Heidi Gerard Kaduson, Ph.D., RPT-S, director, The Play Therapy Training Institute, Inc.