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Play-Based Interventions for Childhood Anxieties, Fears, and Phobias

Illustrating the power of play for helping children overcome a wide variety of worries, fears, and phobias, this book provides a toolkit of play therapy approaches and techniques. Coverage encompasses everyday fears and worries in 3- 12 year olds as well as anxiety disorders and posttraumatic problems. Leading practitioners describe their approaches step by step and share vivid illustrative case material. Each chapter also summarizes the research base for the interventions discussed. Key topics include adapting therapy to each child's developmental level, engaging reluctant or less communicative clients, and involving parents in treatment.


  • Introduction
  • 1. Play-Based Approaches for Treating Childhood Anxieties: Basic Concepts and Practices, Charles E. Schaefer & Athena A. Drewes
  • I. Common Childhood Fears and Anxieties
  • 2. Anxiety and the Hospitalized Child: Best Practices for Guiding Therapeutic Play, Donna Koller
  • 3. Play Interventions for Children’s Night-time Fears, Julie Blundon Nash
  • 4. Play Therapy Practices with Children Experiencing Nightmares, Deborah Armstrong
  • 5. Play-Based Treatment for School-Related Fears and Phobias of Children, Clair Mellenthin
  • 6. Release Play Interventions for Children Who Experienced Stressful Life Events, Heidi Gerard Kaduson
  • II. Specific Anxiety Disorders
  • 7. Integrating Play and Cognitive-Behavioural Interventions to Treat Childhood Worries and Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Taming Worry Dragons, Sandra L. Clark & E. Jane Garland
  • 8. Theraplay as a Treatment for Children with Selective Mutism: Integrating the Polyvagal Theory, Attachment Theory and Social Communication, Lydia C. Glibota, Sandra Lindaman, & A. Rand Coleman
  • 9. Integrating Play Therapy into Treatment of Children with Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder, Eric Green & Amie C. Myrick
  • 10. Play Therapy for Separation Anxiety in Children, Paris Goodyear-Brown & Elizabeth Andersen
  • 11. Effective Play-Based Interventions for Social Anxiety Disorder, Vicente E. Caballo, Isabel C. Salazar, & Thomas H. Ollendick
  • 12. Integrating Play Therapy into Single-Session Behavioral Treatment for Preschool Children with Specific Phobias, Erinn N. Munro Lee, Helen Kershaw, & Lara J. Farrell
  • III. Posttraumatic Anxieties
  • 13. Play-Based Interventions for Children Traumatized by Dealing with Natural and Human-Made Disasters, Akiko J. Ohnogi
  • 14. Helping Sexually Abused Children Overcome Anxiety: A Play-Based Integrative Approach, Andrea Driggs McLeod
  • Appendix: Helpful Bibliotherapy Books
  • Index

Author Bio:

Athena A. Drewes, Psych, RPT-S, is a licensed child psychologist, certified school psychologist, and registered play therapist and supervisor. She is Director of Clinical Training and the Psychology Doctoral Internship at Astor Services for Children and Families in Poughkeepsie, New York. Since the 1970s, Dr. Drewes has utilized an integrative play therapy approach with children and adolescents experiencing a range of clinical issues in school and in outpatient and inpatient settings. She is a past board member of the Association for Play Therapy and founder and president emeritus of the New York Association for Play Therapy. She has published numerous books on play therapy and is a frequently invited guest lecturer in the United States and internationally.

Charles E. Schaefer, PhD, RPT-S, is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey. Dr. Schaefer is co-founder and director emeritus of the Association for Play Therapy, which recognized him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. His more than 60 books include Essential Play Therapy Techniques: Time-Tested Approaches; Short-Term Play Therapy for Children, Third Edition; and Play-Based Interventions for Childhood Anxieties, Fears, and Phobias. He maintains a private practice in child psychotherapy in Hackensack, New Jersey.


“Stalwarts of play therapy Athena Drewes and Charles Schaefer have teamed up again to edit a wonderfully informative collection of essays focused on a wide array of childhood anxieties from nightmares to posttraumatic anxieties….Many of the authors include a clear and separate section of outcome studies related to their essays. This seems to be an essential feature that can aid clinicians in making informed treatment decisions and help them move beyond an eclectic approach to treating anxiety….A valuable resource, with expert authors and clear, practical, and well-researched strategies for dealing with childhood anxieties….It will serve as a strong resource for client conceptualization, treatment planning, family consultation, and goal setting.”

Play-Based Interventions for Childhood Anxieties, Fears, and Phobias

Author: Athena Drewes

$76.00 Add to Cart

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