1st Edition

Solution-Focused Play Therapy A Strengths-Based Clinical Approach to Play Therapy

By Elizabeth Kjellstrand Hartwig Copyright 2021
    266 Pages 42 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    266 Pages 42 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Solution-Focused Play Therapy is an essential text that blends the process of play therapy with solution-focused therapy.

    With a focus on child strengths and resources, this book identifies key concepts and principles in solution-focused play therapy (SFPT). The author provides neurobiological and developmental support for SFPT and guidance on how practitioners can transition from using a non-directive approach to a more directive and activity-based approach based on the developmental needs of the child. Chapters describe the 12 basic skills needed for employing this approach with children of all ages and their families. Harnessing a strengths-oriented approach, the author presents expressive ways to use key SFPT techniques, including the miracle question, scaling, finding exceptions, and end-of-session feedback.

    Clinicians will come away from the book with a suite of interventions, strategies, handouts, and forms that can be employed with children of all ages and their families, from strength-based assessment and treatment planning to the final celebration session.

    1. The Restorative Powers of Play: Foundations of Play Therapy 2. Building Solutions With Clients: Foundations of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy 3. How Did You Do That? Solution-Focused Play Therapy Key Concepts and Stages of Solution Building 4. Growing with Solution-Focused Play Therapy: How Development Impacts the Play Therapy Process 5. Solution-Focused Play Therapy Resources: Strength-Based Tools for the Playroom 6. Setting Children up for Success: Caregive Consultations, First Sessions, and Treatment Planning 7. Essential Skills in Solution-Focused Play Therapy: The 12 Basic Skills 8. Cultivating Resiliency: Solution-Focused Play Therapy Techniques 9. Let's Play! Creative Interventions in Solution-Focused Play Therapy 10. Creating Change in the Family System: Solution-Focused Family Play Therapy 11. Searching for Solutions: Strength-Based Documentation and Progress Assessment 12. Celebration Sessions: How to Terminate Solution-Focused Play Therapy Sessions Appendices


    Elizabeth Kjellstrand Hartwig, PhD, LPC-S, LMFT, RPT-S, is an associate professor at Texas State University. She is the founder and director of the Texas State University Animal- Assisted Counseling Academy and a past president of the Texas Association for Play Therapy.

    "The field of play therapy will have made a giant leap thanks to Elizabeth Kjellstrand Hartwig! By contextualizing the basic components of play therapy in solution-focused theory and adapting the therapeutic process to it, she has developed innovative ways to help families and children build on existing strengths to regulate emotions and build self-esteem. This book is meticulously researched, well organized, and clearly written. It is a valuable resource for beginning play therapists, experienced therapists who want to broaden their perspective and skills, and educators."Eve Lipchik, LMFT, LCSW, author of Beyond Technique in Solution Focused Therapy: Working with Emotions and the Therapeutic Relationship

    "Elizabeth Kjellstrand Hartwig artfully explains the application of solution-focused therapy to play therapy. Her writing style is easy to read and very relational. Her content is profound, thoughtful, and detailed. New and experienced play therapists will find this book extremely helpful in developing a comprehensive application to their work. Case examples amplify her presentation of concepts, skills and interventions. Forms and directions for interventions are an additional plus. This groundbreaking book will become the go-to for solution-focused play therapists."Linda E. Homeyer, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S, professor emerita at Texas State University and director emerita of the Association for Play Therapy, USA

    "Elizabeth Kjellstrand Hartwig has written a well-organized and engaging book that documents the process of integrating solution-focused therapy principles into a traditional play therapy practice, providing readers with a thoughtful and practical template on how to do so in their own therapeutic work. Major historical play-therapy models, therapeutic powers of play research, interpersonal neurobiology insights, and the therapeutic mechanisms of solution-focused therapy are thoughtfully explained and clearly illustrated with clinical examples and an appendix of forms and resources."John W. Seymour, PhD, LMFT, professor emeritus and distinguished faculty scholar, Minnesota State University, Mankato, USA

    "Elizabeth Kjellstrand Hartwig delivers an authoritative account of solution-focused play therapy from its origins to its practical applications. She renders complex theoretical material accessible so therapists can implement these ideas in their very next session with clients and families. She covers building a solution-focused process and the impact of child development on play therapy, gives playroom and materials suggestions, and illuminates 12 solution-focused skills that help clinicians recognize and highlight clients’ resources to build their resiliency. Dr. Hartwig walks readers step-by-step through the solution-focused play therapy process from first consultations to session documentation in this user-friendly volume."Sarah D. Stauffer, PhD, LPC, NCC, NCSC, RPT-S, Psychologue-Psychothérapeute FSP and Art-thérapeute APSAT (Switzerland), play therapy director at Association ESPAS, systemic family therapist, author, international presenter, and clinical editor of Play Therapy Magazine