Exploring Dimensions of Administrative Support for Play Therapy in Schools

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Abstract

While play therapy with young children has empirical support, it has been underutilized in public elementary school settings due to multiple individual and systemic barriers, which are indirectly or directly influenced by school administrator support. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences and perceptions of administrative support from the perspectives of elementary public school counselors and social workers known to use play therapy. Using a directed content analysis approach, results indicate participants generally experienced affirmative administrative support for play therapy; however, viewed administrators as lacking an understanding of the interplay between academics and play therapy and the importance of clinical supervision. Limitations, future research and implications for practice are discussed.

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