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Play Therapy Dimensions Model: New Insights for Integrative Play Therapists
Written by Lorri Yasenik and Ken Gardner

What is the Play Therapy “Dimensions” Model”?

  • It is a framework for decision-making in play therapy.
  • It considers “How directive are you?” and “How consciously” are you bringing things forward in a play therapy session?
  • The two dimensions cross to form 4 quadrants:
    • I Active Utilization
    • II Open Discussion and Exploration
    • III Non-Intrusive Responding
    • IV Co-facilitation

Different theories/models fit within each of the quadrants. For instance, in QI: Open Discussion and Exploration, you will find a therapist using more directive prompts or therapy interventions such a Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapists. QIII: Non-intrusive Responding is likely the most commonly known by play therapists, as all of the non-directive practices fall within this quadrant such as Child Centered Play Therapy, Humanistic Play Therapy, and UK Non-directive play therapy. QI: Active Utilization is where a play therapist may be making interpretive comments that come from the play themes or characters, or even things that the child has directly shared. You will find many different theories working here from time to time such as Adlerian Play Therapists, Eriksonian Play Therapists, Gestalt Play Therapists etc. In QIV: Co-facilitation, you will find many play therapy models such as Gestalt, Adlerian, UK Non-directive, Theraplay play Therapists and other theoretical orientations. In this quadrant you may be using a character in a way a child has not directed or entering new ideas into the play.

The diagram is a great tracking tool and now considers children who present with pre-imaginative play skills and identifies the play process as one that moves from the “bottom-up”. Play Therapists may need to scaffold a child’s play before a child can more fully express their thoughts, feelings and needs through child-led complex play.

Overall, this book asks you to consider the What? How? with Whom? When and Why? of play therapy.

What is New in the 3rd Edition?

  • Updated Play Therapy Dimensions Diagram (including Pre-imaginative Play Skills)
  • Parent Feedback Conceptualization Tool and chapter on parents
  • Case conceptualization Form and accompanying descriptive chapter
  • Updates to the previous tools including Therapist Use of Self Scale/Culture
  • Two new Videos: 1) supervision using the case conceptualization tool

2) Parent feedback session: Case of Ellis

Who Should Read this Book?

  • New Play Therapists who are beginning their play therapy practice
  • Seasoned Play Therapists
  • Play Therapists who have been trained in at least two play therapy theories/models
  • Supervisors who would like to help their supervisees track “use of self” visually
  • Supervisors who would like a model of supervision
  • Practitioners who would like to use tools to conceptualize their practice
  • Play Therapy trainers and University lecturers

new book from RMPTI

Turning Points in Play Therapy and the Emergence of Self: Applications of the Play Therapy Dimensions Model
Edited by Lorri Yasenik and Ken Gardner

Effective clinical practice requires a thorough understanding of how turning points surface in the play therapy process. These moments can indicate a change in a child's thought or behaviour. The play therapist is the facilitator of these moments and this book will provide guidance on how they can promote these moments.

This edited collection demonstrates successful implementation of the author's proven Play Therapy Dimensions Model. Each chapter uses this framework, as well as other theories, to discuss the markers that can reflect shifts and growth in a child's development. Full of applied guidance, this book will prove to be invaluable for practitioners, instructors and students.