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Play Therapy for Preschool Children

Edited by Charles E. Schaefer, PhD.


This course meets the qualifications for 9 hours of continuing education

Play Therapy for Preschool Children is a comprehensive sourcebook of play interventions for preventing and resolving the most common disorders of children aged 3–5 years old. Editor Charles Schaefer has gathered leading clinicians and researchers who present the research background alongside recent advances in the adaptation of play therapy for use with children who exhibit a variety of internalizing, externalizing, and developmental disorders, as well as prevention programs for at-risk children.

Chapters use case illustrations to demonstrate interventions for mild to moderate behavior problems, insecurely-attached preschool children and children with posttraumatic issues, as well as how to use play therapy in conjunction with parent psychotherapy and cognitive–behavioral therapy. Contributors also discuss interventions for autistic and developmentally-delayed children, and the use of play interventions in classroom and parent-child settings. Throughout, chapter authors provide practical guidance for the full implementation of clinical ideas, from intake through termination.

Clearly written and comprehensive in scope, Play Therapy for Preschool Children is a must-have for any student or mental health professional who seeks a full understanding of the latest theory and practice of play therapy with this uniquely vulnerable and often misunderstood population.
(courtesy: The American Psychological Association)

Please join us in this 9 unit course.


This course consists of a post-test based upon reading the text. There is no online material to read. After you pass the post-test, you may print out your own certificate.


This course meets the qualifications for 9 hours of continuing education

is approved by the:

APT - Association for Play Therapy (Non-contact hours) APT Approved Provider (#02-117)
CA BBS - California Board of Behavioral Science accepts our CE Provider Approvals through APA, NASW, and NBCC. Course meets the qualifications for hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Science
Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, Mental Health Counseling (BAP 753 )
NAADAC - The Association for Addiction Professionals (#575)
NBCC - National Board for Certified Counselors - www.psychceu.com has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6055. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. www.psychceu.com is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. (ACEP #6055)
Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (#1761)
The Texas Board of Social Work Examiners (#6246)

maintains responsibility for the program.



how it works

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You will immediately receive confirmation of your order, your password and how to access the course material. (Please do not block e-mails from classes@psychceu.com, orders@psychceu.com and info@psychceu.com)

If you ordered an online course, you can begin to take the course immediately.

You will receive instructions, via e-mail, on how to take your test online.

Contact us or call if you need technical support.

Your test will be graded online, so the moment you have passed, you may print out your certificate of completion.

That's it! You are done!

is approved by the
Association for Play Therapy
to offer continuing education specific to play therapy.
Our provider number is 02-117. This course offers 9 non-contact training hours.
www.psychceu.com maintains responsibility for the program.

Learning Objectives

In this 9 unit course:

The clinician will:

1. Describe developmental issues impacting play therapy with preschool children (ages 3 to 5 years).
2. Describe a variety of  play strategies designed to prevent the escalation of problem behaviors in young children.
3. List the clinical issues associated with play therapy with preschool children.
4. Describe effective play interventions for both internalizing and externalizing disorders of young children.
5. Compare effective play interventions for developmental disorders of young children.
6. List the empirical research supporting play therapy with preschool children.
7. Identify needed research to close gaps in our knowledge about effective play interventions for young children.





To receive credit students must

Order directly from

  • Pass the post-test
  • Upon passing the test, print out your own certificate of completion!

Table of Contents

I. Play-Based Prevention Programs
Clinical and Developmental Issues in Psychotherapy With Preschool Children: Laying the Groundwork for Play Therapy
—Julie Blundon Nash and Charles E. Schaefer
Evidence Supporting the Benefit of Play for Mild to Moderate Behavior Problems of Preschool Children
—Charles E. Schaefer
Play Therapy for Insecurely Attached Preschool Children
—Helen E. Benedict and Diana Schofield
II. Play Interventions for Internalizing Disorders
Posttraumatic Parenting: A Parent–Child Dyadic Treatment for Young Children's Posttraumatic Adjustment
—Janine Shelby, Claudia Avina, and Heather Warnick
Filial Play Therapy for Grieving Preschool Children
—Hilda R. Glazer
Strategic Play Therapy Techniques for Anxious Preschoolers
—Paris Goodyear-Brown
Use of Play in Child–Parent Psychotherapy With Preschoolers Traumatized by Domestic Violence
—Manuela A. Diaz and Alicia F. Lieberman
Cognitive–Behavioral Play Therapy for Preschoolers: Integrating Play and Cognitive–Behavioral Interventions
—Susan M. Knell and Meena Dasari
III. Play Interventions for Externalizing Disorders
Role of Sociodramatic Play in Promoting Self-Regulation
—Katherine A. Gioia and Renée M. Tobin
Parent–Child Interaction Therapy
—Corissa L. Callahan, Monica L. Stevens, and Sheila Eyberg
Jungian Sandplay Therapy for Preschoolers With Disruptive Behavior Problems
—Eric J. Green and Kristi Gibbs
Parents, Teachers, and Therapists Using Child-Directed Play Therapy and Coaching Skills to Promote Children's Social and Emotional Competence and Build Positive Relationships
—Carolyn Webster-Stratton and M. Jamila Reid
IV. Play Interventions for Developmental Disorders
From Novice to Expert: Guiding Children on the Autism Spectrum in Integrated Play Groups
—David Neufeld and Pamela Wolfberg
Teaching Social Skills to Developmentally Delayed Preschoolers
—Johnny L. Matson and Jill C. Fodstad
About the Editor

(courtesy: The American Psychological Association)


"We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything than when we are playing". Charles Schaefer


Charles E. Schaefer, PhD is considered by many to be the "Father of Play Therapy", and is the recipient of the Association for Play Therapy's Lifetime Achievement Award.He is Professor of Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey. An expert in the field of play therapy, he is the cofounder of the Association for Play Therapy and the founder and co-director of the Play Therapy Training Institute in New Jersey. Dr. Schaefer was presented with the Distinguished Service Award-International Association for Play Therapy in 1996, and the Distinguished Faculty Award For Research & Scholarship, Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1994.

Dr. Schaefer's legendary list of publications on child therapy and play therapy includes such classics as:

Ages & Stages: Tips and Techniques for Building Your Child's Social, Emotional, Interpersonal, and Cognitive Skills. John Wiley, 2000.
Game Play (2nd Edition). John Wiley, 2000.
Short-term Play Therapy for Children. Guilford, 2000.
Play Diagnosis and Assessment (2nd Edition), (Edited with K.G. Gitlin and A. Sandgrund), Wiley, 2000.
Short-Term Psychotherapy Groups for Children: Adapting Group Processes for Specific Problems. Jason Aronson, 1999.
Innovative Psychotherapy Techniques in Child & Adolescent Therapy (2nd Edition). John Wiley, 1999..
101 Favorite Play Therapy Techniques, Jason Aronson, 1997.
The Playing Cure: Individualized Play Therapy for Specific Childhood Problems (with H. Kaduson and D. Cangelosi), Jason Aronson, 1997.
Clinical Handbook of Sleep Disorders in Children, Jason Aronson, 1995.
Clinical Handbook of Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents (with A. Eisen and C. Kearney), Jason Aronson, 1995.
Family Play Therapy (with L. Carey), Jason Aronson, 1994.
Handbook of Play Therapy (Vol. II) (with K. O'Connor), John Wiley, 1994.
Play Therapy Techniques (Edited with D. Cangelosi), Jason Aronson, 1993.
Therapeutic Powers of Play. (Editor)Jason Aronson, 1993.

Advances in Therapies for Children (with H. Millman),
Jossey-Bass, 1986.
Game Play: Therapeutic Use of Childhood Games (Edited with S. Reid), John Wiley, 1986.
Family Therapies Techniques for Problem Behaviors of Children and Teenagers. Jossey-Bass, 1982.
Handbook of Play Therapy (Edited with K. O'Connor), John Wiley, 1983.
Group Therapies for Children & Youth (with L. Johnson and J. Wherry), Jossey-Bass, 1982.
Therapies for Psychosomatic Disorders in Children (with H. Millman and G. Levine), Jossey-Bass, 1979.
Therapies for Children (with H. Millman), Jossey-Bass, 1977.
Therapeutic Use of Child's Play. (Editor), Jason Aronson, Inc. 1976.


Empirically Based Play Interventions For Children

Foundations of Play Therapy

Play Therapy with Adults

Play Therapy with Adolescents

The Therapeutic Powers of Play


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Frequently Asked Questions



APA Ethics

We do adhere to the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles of Psychologists. Our courses are carefully screened by the Planning Committee to adhere to APA standards. We also require authors who compose Internet courses specifically for us follow APA ethical standards.

Many of our courses contain case material, and may use the methods of qualitative research and analysis, in-depth interviews and ethnographic studies. The psychotherapeutic techniques depicted may include play therapy, sandplay therapy, dream analysis, drawing analysis, client and therapist self-report, etc. The materials presented may be considered non-traditional and may be controversial, and may not have widespread endorsement within the profession. www.psychceu.com maintains responsibility for the program and its content.

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