Cultural Issues in Play Therapy  book cover
1st Edition

Cultural Issues in Play Therapy

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ISBN 9781593853808
Published February 8, 2007 by Guilford Press
216 Pages

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Book Description

Helping therapists hone their skills for working with diverse children and families, this unique volume looks at play therapy through a multicultural lens. Experienced practitioners examine how cultural factors may influence the ways children express themselves through play, the feelings they associate with different activities, and the responses of children and parents to particular interventions. Filled with evocative clinical material, chapters highlight specific issues to consider when working with African American, Latino, Native American, and Asian American children. The book also provides suggestions for setting up a therapeutic playroom that is engaging and welcoming to all.

Table of Contents

I. Background and General Considerations
1. From Sensitivity to Competence in Working across Cultures, Eliana Gil
2. Play in Selected Cultures: Diversity and Universality, Athena A. Drewes
3. Suggestions and Research on Multicultural Play Therapy, Athena A. Drewes
4. The Impact of Culture on Art Therapy with Children, Cathy A. Malchiodi
II. Play Therapy with Major Cultural Groups
5. Play Therapy in the African American ""Village,"" Sonia Hinds
6. Therapeutic Play with Hispanic Clients,
Silvina Hopkins, Virginia Huici, and Diana Bermudez
7. Musings on Working with Native American Children in Play Therapy, Geri Glover
8. Play Therapy with Asian Children, Shu-Chen Kao
Appendix. Multicultural Play Therapy Resources, Athena A. Drewes

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Eliana Gil, PhD, is founding partner of the Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education, a private group practice in Fairfax, Virginia. She is also Director of Starbright Training Institute for Child and Family Play Therapy. Dr. Gil has worked in the field of child abuse prevention and treatment since 1973. A licensed marriage, family, and child counselor; an approved marriage and family therapy supervisor; a registered art therapist; and a registered play therapy supervisor, she is a former President of the Association for Play Therapy, which honored her with its Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the author of The Healing Power of Play, Helping Abused and Traumatized Children, and Play in Family Therapy, Second Edition, among many other publications. Originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador, Dr. Gil is bilingual and bicultural.

Athena A. Drewes, PsyD, RPT-S, is a licensed psychologist and registered play therapist and supervisor. She is director of Clinical Training and the APA Psychology Doctoral Internship and gives direct service to foster care children and families at the Astor Home for Children in Poughkeepsie, New York. Dr. Drewes has been a play therapist for over 25 years, working with children and adolescents across all types of mental health and school-based settings. She is on the Board of Directors of the Association for Play Therapy, founder and past president of the New York Association for Play Therapy, and Adjunct Professor of Play Therapy at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, New York. Dr. Drewes has written numerous articles on play therapy and is coeditor of a book on school-based play therapy.


"This volume helps therapists develop a culturally sensitive approach to their practice of play therapy with children from diverse ethnic and cultural groups living in the United States today. It is an important and timely resource for all therapists who work with young children, regardless of disciplinary background or theoretical orientation."--Charles E. Schaefer, PhD, Department of Psychology, Fairleigh Dickinson University

"This valuable text is packed with useful information that will guide and inspire play therapists who treat children from diverse cultural backgrounds. The book admirably succeeds in translating knowledge about different cultures into clear and sensitive practice principles. It will serve as an essential and welcome resource for students and professionals who use play therapy in their work with children in schools, hospitals, clinics, and private practice settings."--Nancy Boyd Webb, DSW, BCD, RPT-S, Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service

"This book is an invaluable resource for play therapists and trainees as well as other professionals who work with children and families whose cultural backgrounds are different from their own. Designed to acquaint the reader with a variety of ethnic groups, the book also demonstrates the variations that exist within the groups themselves. The highly knowledgeable authors encourage therapists to learn as much as possible about the populations they serve in order to provide effective help for those who may be struggling with acculturation, language skills, prejudice, and other issues. Numerous resources are listed that can further inform and sensitize us to cultural concerns in clinical practice. This is a landmark book for therapists and for students entering the field, and should be on hand at every play therapy training site."--Lois Carey, LCSW, BCD, RPT-S, private practice, Upper Grandview, New York

"This book fills a crucial void in the play therapy literature. The range of diversity of this book mirrors the ever-expanding diversity of America, and the cultural groups with the fastest growth projections are given detailed coverage. Featuring outstanding chapter contributions by knowledgeable and experienced clinicians, the book is well researched and includes interesting and rich case examples. In addition, practical information about culturally sensitive toys and where to get them will be a huge benefit to play therapists. Gil and Drewes are to be commended for this sensitive, vitally needed, and comprehensive work."--David A. Crenshaw, PhD, RPT-S, private practice, Rhinebeck, New York