Children ages 6-12 undergo major developmental changes. During this period, known as middle childhood, they develop a more advanced sense of self, emotion regulation skills, and self-confidence. They become less dependent on their parents and learn to form connections with peers. They also learn to follow rules and reach achievements through sustained effort. Because of these social, emotional, and cognitive developments, play therapy with these children looks different than with younger children. This book helps therapists provide developmentally appropriate, effective play therapy for children in middle childhood. It presents a broad range of play interventions, showing how play therapy can be used with school-age children and their parents to address internalizing disorders, externalizing disorders, relational deficits, and autism spectrum disorder. For each intervention presented, the authors explain the theory and research supporting it and provide an illustrative case example. Readers will learn to choose treatment goals and strategies that are informed by the child's developmental needs.
Athena A. Drewes, PsyD, MA, RPT-S, is director of clinical training and of the APA-accredited predoctoral internship program, and clinician specializing in complex trauma with foster care children, Astor Services for Children and Families, New York, NY. Charles E. Schaefer, PhD, RPT-S, is professor emeritus of psychology, Fairleigh Dickinson University, USA, Hackensack, NJ. He is cofounder and director emeritus of the Association for Play Therapy, Clovis, California.