VISTAS Counseling Families and Adults

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.

Play Therapy and Parent Consultation: A Review of Best Practices

Jennifer N. Bornsheuer and Richard E. Watts


Parent involvement is one of the strongest factors in a child’s well-being. Furthermore, parent involvement in a child’s therapy has been linked to greater satisfaction in the counseling process and a decrease in the child’s problem behaviors (Kottman, 2001b, 2003; Landreth & Bratton, 2006; McGuire & McGuire, 2001). If parents are left out of the counseling process, there will be less cooperation and support for the child returning or continuing counseling (O’Conner, 2000). After an extensive review of play therapy literature, we noted a noticeable gap in the literature pertaining to the process of parent consultations using the child-centered play therapy model. The most recent literature on the topic of parent consultations was added in 2006 (Cates, Paone, Packman, & Margolis, 2006) and there has not been any literature specifically on the topic of child-centered play therapy and parent consultation. The purpose of this article is to (a) provide an overview of the process of parent consultation when used in conjunction with child-centered play therapy, (b) suggest other forms of parent consultations that can be used by child-centered play therapists to facilitate more effective consultations, (c) examine how to overcome resistance to parent consultation by both parents and therapists, and (d) identify gaps in the current literature regarding parent consultations.

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