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Play Therapy- Child Centered/Non-Directive 

Dr. Axline and the Center believe that “play experiences” help children learn to take control of their growth and grow in a mature direction in a similar fashion to adults in talk therapy. We support a Child Centered Play Therapy that is non-directive. The therapists we recommend must be alert, present, honest, accepting, dependable, and passionate about working with children. We laugh with children, not at children. We never patronize or under-estimate a child’s abilities, we empower. 


Psychotherapists have been using play in therapy from before Melanie Klein, a prominent psychologist in her time (1932). Klein used a directive form of play therapy where the therapist lead the play and used a technique called "free association," developed by Sigmund Freud. Her strides in our practice are typically forgotten and covered by Freud's daughter, Anna Freud (1946). Despite her father's thoughts, she began to emphasize the relationship between the therapist and child. This lead the way for several renditions of Play Therapy. 

Through studying the history, and the impact of Carl Rogers, our own Virginia Axline developed a non-directive Play Therapy that she refers to as Child Centered Play Therapy (1947).


Today, Play Therapy is ever growing. It has been recognized as a necessity in the field of counseling psychology and its growth since the early days has been extraordinary (2007). Axline's work in Child Centered Play Therapy has made leaps and bounds. Till this day, counselors who practice play therapy in a non-directive, child center manner continue to emphasize the eight principles emphasized by Dr. Axline 1947; click here to read about the Eight Principles). While we advocate for CCPT as an effective method, we recognize the research findings that, similar to talk therapy, having knowledge of multiple styles of play therapy benefits the counselor and the clients in play therapy (2007).

For Practitioners-

Why Should You Be Trained in Play Therapy?

Click Here to Learn Why

For Families-

Find a Play Therapist Near You

While Dr. Axline is not accepting new clients, you can click here to find local Play Therapists near you!

Click Here to Start Searching!

Axline, V. (1947). Play Therapy. New York: Ballantine Books.

Freud, A. (1946). The psychoanalytic treatment of children. London: Imago. 


Klein, M. (1932). The psycho-analysis of children. London: Hogarth Press.

Pehrsson, D. E., & Aguilera, M. E. (2007). Play therapy: Overview and implications for counselors (ACAPCD-12). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association

Disclaimer: This mock website has been designed for a doctoral research presentation. However, all advocacy information is accurate and available at the linked sources.

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