Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Giordano, Francesca G.||Fisher, Teresa A.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Play therapy--United States; Child psychotherapy--United States; Hispanic American children--Psychology


This dissertation describes how Registered Play Therapists and Registered Play Therapists’ Supervisors (a) discover various multiculturally sensitive techniques in play therapy, (b) determine if play therapists are displaying cultural sensitivity, and (c) verify if training influences multicultural competence. This study used a phenomenological qualitative design and was conducted in two phases. In phase 1, a web-based survey was used to gather demographic data on Registered Play Therapists and Registered Play Therapists’ Supervisors residing in the USA. Those who met pre-determined criteria were chosen and interviewed for participation in the second phase. A telephone interview comprised phase 2 and responses were coded and categorized into themes. This examination revealed that play therapists engage in multiculturally sensitive practices and display a number of related culturally sensitive play therapy techniques. A focus on family, customs, cultural games, and language were effective strategies used by participants. It was also discovered that training and years of experience in the field did not necessarily impact one’s capacity to provide multicultural play therapy. Finally, their ability to demonstrate a non-directive and child-centered approach was deemed a significant source in developing adaptive behaviors.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [133]-139).


x, 151 pages




Northern Illinois University

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