Counselor Education 685

COED 685
Foundations of Play Therapy

1. Catalog Entry

COED 685
Foundations of Play Therapy

Prerequisite: COED 610 and COED 611, or permission of instructor

Credit hours (3)

This course includes an overview of essential elements and principles of play therapy, including history, theories, techniques, modalities, and applications of play therapy.  The course features an experiential element during which students conduct play therapy session(s), under supervision of the instructor.

2. Detailed Description of Course

The course covers:
• Introduction to play therapy
• History and development of play therapy
• Theories of play therapy
• The role of the play therapist
• The playroom and appropriate materials
• Legal, ethical and professional issues
• Parents and play therapy/Filial therapy
• Child centered play therapy
• Termination issues: Recognizing progress
• Metaphors and themes in play therapy
• Play diagnosis and assessment
• Conducting play therapy sessions
     a) Initiating the relationship
    b) Facilitating responses
    c) Setting therapeutic limits
    d) Negotiating challenges

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course will consist of didactic instruction, experiential learning and discussion.  There will be an expectation of active class involvement and participation, viewing of play therapy sessions by experts and classmates, and presentations on one specific area/technique of play therapy.  Students will complete a final evaluation.

4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

Upon completion of this Course and the following goals students will be able to:
• Understand essential elements of the play therapy profession’s history and primary associations
• Demonstrate understanding of essential play therapy principles including
    a) Rationale,
    b) Primary theories and approaches
    c) Appropriate play environments and applications
• Demonstrate understanding of ethical and legal issues within the context of play therapy
• Demonstrate knowledge of procedures for contracting with parents and children for play therapy (informed consent);
• Demonstrate mastery of minimum core skills during play therapy sessions conducted with children.  Minimum skills to be demonstrated will include
    a) structuring
    b) tracking
    c) reflecting
    d) limit setting
• Understand the working stages of play therapy, and the therapeutic progression and development of a child in play therapy

5. Assessment Measures

Assessment may include student performance in each of the following areas:
• Class attendance and participation
• Special topic presentation
• Play therapy session(s)
• Final evaluation

6. Other Course Information


Review and Approval
February 1, 2008