The Characteristics of Play Therapy Sessions with Children: A Preliminary Investigation

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This research study investigated various characteristics of children in play therapy and their play behaviors during sessions. Specifically, this research investigated how gender, age, ethnicity, household and presenting problem of children impacted the play therapy process. Thirty-two cases of children who received ten or more sessions of play therapy at the Child and Family Resource Clinic, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas between the years of 1998-2002 and met specified criteria were coded and entered into a computer spreadsheet for analysis. The background information provided by the parent/guardian of each child was analyzed using various measures of central tendency to ... continued below

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Frye, Kristi Dean August 2003.

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  • Frye, Kristi Dean

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Description

This research study investigated various characteristics of children in play therapy and their play behaviors during sessions. Specifically, this research investigated how gender, age, ethnicity, household and presenting problem of children impacted the play therapy process. Thirty-two cases of children who received ten or more sessions of play therapy at the Child and Family Resource Clinic, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas between the years of 1998-2002 and met specified criteria were coded and entered into a computer spreadsheet for analysis. The background information provided by the parent/guardian of each child was analyzed using various measures of central tendency to summarize and describe the data sets. The session summary data completed by play therapists at the CFRC was examined using analysis of variance and multivariate analysis of variance. Analysis of variance and multivariate analysis of variance revealed statistical significance between the following variables: a) males and use of dolls (.01), animals (.007) and weapons (.014), and males and expression of happy (.048), confident (.042) curious (.007) and flat (.029) during play therapy sessions; b) young children and use of vehicles (.050) during play therapy sessions; c) Caucasian children and expression of happy (.011), and confident (.008) during play therapy sessions; d) children residing in single parent households and use of hammer (.049) and puppets (.048) during play therapy sessions; and e) a variety of presenting problems and toy use/play behavior, feelings expressed and themes played out during play therapy sessions. Frequency of toy use and emotional expression were also investigated as well as session peaks of toy use, emotions expressed and themes. Analysis revealed that the toys used most often during play therapy sessions included the following categories: sandbox, easel/paints, dolls, weapons, crafts and money. Feelings expressed most often in play therapy sessions included excited, pleased, focused, interested, proud, curious, frustrated and confident. Analysis also indicated a positive shift in the overall dynamics of play therapy sessions, as reported by play therapists, during sessions 9-13.

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  • August 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Feb. 15, 2008, 2:50 p.m.

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  • June 24, 2008, 1:53 p.m.

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Frye, Kristi Dean. The Characteristics of Play Therapy Sessions with Children: A Preliminary Investigation, dissertation, August 2003; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4330/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .