Play Psychotherapy Research

State of the Science
  • Sandra W. Russ
Part of the Advances in Clinical Child Psychology book series (ACCP, volume 17)


I was sitting in the cafeteria at the San Diego airport, amidst the usual chaotic airport scene, when I noticed a little boy, about six or seven years old, sitting at the table next to mine. He was with an older brother or very young father who was reading. The boy had laid out in front of him four figures—a cowboy, an Indian, a large monster, and a larger rubber dinosaur. He was totally engrossed in fantasy play with these creatures and was making up dialogue and action. I could not hear all of it, but I could hear, “Do this,” “No you won’t,” “Here’s this.” Some of the play was with an angry tone, some with a cooperative tone. There was a definite story line. His play went on for about 30 minutes. He was totally engaged and comfortable and was clearly having a good time. He was also doing work—expressing feelings, learning to modulate affect, mastering problems, and developing coping skills.


Affective Process Divergent Thinking Play Therapy Play Condition Clinical Child Psychology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra W. Russ
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCase Western Reserve UniversityClevelandUSA

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