VISTAS Client Characteristics and Needs

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Can I Play? Using Play Therapy for Children and Adolescents with Disabilities

Dawn C. Lorenz


A broad set of theoretical elements help to perpetuate play therapy procedures. For example, a counselor may seek to work from their identified theoretical basis (i.e., psychoanalytic, Gestalt, Adlerian) through their practice of play therapy. Each of these theoretical components can be incorporated into three primary means of the play therapy environment. Although the most well-known is a non-directive, or child-centered approach, counselors may also use a more directive technique in selecting materials and facilitating the play therapy process, or may choose a prescribed approach that allows for counselors to select from both child-centered and directive techniques to best facilitate growth dependent upon the child‟s developmental, physical, and cognitive needs. For a complete description of theoretical basis of play therapy, please see Carmichael (2006).

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