Integrative Play Therapy with Individuals, Families and Groups  book cover
1st Edition

Integrative Play Therapy with Individuals, Families and Groups

ISBN 9780367187682
Published May 30, 2019 by Routledge
234 Pages

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USD $46.95

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Book Description

Integrative Play Therapy with Individuals, Families and Groups is a complete theory-to-practice introduction to a comprehensive integrative model of play therapy, developed by Shlomo Ariel. It synthesizes numerous concepts, methods and techniques found in the various branches of play theory and research under a unified conceptual and linguistic roof of information-processing, cybernetics and semiotics. The author's tenet is that any case, whatever the presenting difficulties, can be treated by such an integrative, multi-systemic approach.

This book abounds with vivid observations and case descriptions, followed by discussions in a fictional inter-disciplinary seminar. Every chapter is followed by a brief summary, homework assignments and a classified list of relevant publications.

Integrative Play Therapy with Individuals, Families and Groups will generate immense interest throughout the play therapy community. It can serve as a textbook for budding play therapists and as a reference book for more experienced practitioners.

Table of Contents




Part 1: Theoretical and methodological foundations

1. My favorite play therapy mix

2. Apprasing the current state of the art

3. The Diamond Model

Part 2: X-Raying make-believe play

4. Play observation techniques

5. Microscopic analysis of observed play

6. Macroscopic analysis on the semantic level

7. Macroscopic analysis of the pragmatic level

Part 3: The manifold magic of make-believe play

8. A formal definition of make-believe play 

9. Linguistic peculiarities of make-believe play

10. Make-believe play as a vehicle of learning and development

11. Make-believe play as a pacifier

12. The therapeutic powers of play, revisited

Part 4: Planning a multi-systemic play therapy

13. Multi-systemic diagnostic evaluation

14. Planning a therapeutic strategy

Part 5: How to do it?

15. Conducting a play-therapeutic session

16. Lucy: the girl who created her own father

17. Nadav: a sweet oppositional-defiant boy

18. Play therapy: a reality show

19. Finale

List of cases, sessions and observations


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Shlomo Ariel is an Israeli senior clinical psychologist and family therapist, widely published in his areas of expertise – psychotherapy integration, play research, play therapy and culturally competent psychotherapy. He is an international trainer of therapists in these areas.


"A masterful blending of play therapy theories and techniques in make-believe play sessions. Thought-provoking and insightful!"

  • Charles Schaefer, Ph.D., Registered Play Therapy Supervisor, Co-Founder & Director Emeritus, The Association for Play Therapy, USA

"Integrative Play Therapy with Individuals, Families and Groups provides a comprehensive blueprint to guide both beginners and seasoned practitioners. Ariel methodically links concepts from systems, linguistic and play theory to create an innovative, integrated approach to diagnosis and treatment, the Diamond Model. The application of the model is illustrated though compelling and in-depth case examples in varying treatment formats. The practice of integrative play therapy is further exhibited by thought-provoking dialogues about the cases with an interdisciplinary team. The complexity of issues confronting practitioners today is daunting. Ariel’s book offers a theoretically grounded, methodical, and thorough guide to construct effective and playful interventions."

  • Professor Anne Stewart, Department of Graduate Psychology, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, Member of the Association for Play Therapy Board of Directors, Past President of the Virginia Association for Play Therapy

"Once again, Dr. Ariel has challenged and articulated insights into our play therapy field. Words like preparatory moves, integration of family and individual therapy, interdisciplinary approaches and collaborative supervision come alive in this, his most recent book. Such a pleasure in our times to hear from a clinician with wisdom, not just knowledge, but wisdom with respect to the entire child and his/her family."

  • Allan Gonsher, L.C.S.W., Registered Play Therapy Supervisor, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kids, Inc., USA