4-1 | Child-Centered Play Therapy: A Practical Guide to Developing Therapeutic Relationships with Children

Book Review

Child-Centered Play Therapy: A Practical Guide to Developing Therapeutic Relationships with Children

Nancy H. Cochran, William J. Nordling, and Jeff L. Cochran
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2010. Foreword, preface, images, references, index. 464 pp. $65.00 cloth. ISBN: 9780470442234

Child-Centered Play Therapy

Risë VanFleet, Andrea E. Sywulak, and Cynthia Caparosa Sniscak
New York: The Guilford Press, 2010. Foreword, references, index. 236 pp. $35.00 cloth. ISBN: 9781606239025

by Stephen Demanchick

First Paragraph:

Teaching child-centered play therapy (CCPT) is not an easy task. It is exhilarating, joyous, challenging, rewarding, and stimulating—but not at all easy. Those who teach, research, and write about this approach would agree with the notion that being skilled at CCPT requires more of the practitioner than flawlessly executing a therapeutic methodology. The skillful CCPT practitioner enters the child’s world empathetically and understands how to be with each and every child in each and every moment. CCPT requires the practitioner to accept, prize, and allow the child to lead while maintaining the structure of limits and boundaries. It asks the therapist to be fully attentive, vulnerable, and genuine, and to communicate an unwavering and steadfast belief in the innate ability of the child to grow in positive directions. Thus, teaching play-therapy techniques requires the ability to explain a concept clearly and to model it authoritatively; however, fostering a profound belief in the child-centered way of counseling children requires the teacher to inspire her students to view and relate to children in a new way. Both novice and experienced practitioners will find that very inspiration in each of these highly informative texts.