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Supervision Can Be Playful 2/e

Techniques for Child and Play Therapist Supervisors
Table of

This book offers a unique perspective on clinical supervision, foregrounding experiential techniques, and a refreshing, playful approach to professional development.

Supervision Can Be Playful: Techniques for Child and Play Therapist Supervisors, Second Edition offers a holistic approach covering contextual factors, theory, practice, special topics, international voices, practical support, supervisor and supervisee self-care, and play within supervision itself. This book balances theory-driven chapters with intervention-driven chapters offering hands-on, creative methods for specialty supervision in play therapy. The editors are themselves internationally renowned practitioners, and they have brought together practitioners and educators recognized in the field. The chapters have been carefully considered and are inclusive, contemporary, comprehensive, and practitioner-friendly. This volume is useful for training, teaching, and clinical supervision, to provide educational and practical support for clinicians and supervisors from beginning levels to the most experienced supervisor.

New to this Second Edition:

  • Substantially expanded over the original with 24 new chapters and 5 upgraded and revised original chapters
  • Provides the groundwork and foundations of supervision, including supervision of supervision
  • Expanded creative and culturally-sensitive supervision interventions and case examples, including work with parents or primary caregivers, families, and groups
  • Attention to supervision in the global context
  • Multicultural competency and cultural humility, and self-compassion and self-care for play therapists and supervisors in stand-alone chapters and woven into the fabric of the book
  • Inclusion of trauma-focused supervision and special settings
  • Honors the growth of the connection of play and neurobiology
  • Chapters include a diverse range of approaches to play therapy and play therapy supervision for growing supervisees and supervisors
  • Attention to how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted child clients, supervisees, supervisors and those providing supervision, particularly remote supervision


Jeffrey S. Ashby, Jessika Boles, Sue C. Bratton, Yi-Ju Cheng, Heather Coull, Janet Courtney, David A. Crenshaw, Sarah Daniels, Belinda Dean, Athena A. Drewes, Lennis G. Echterling, Lyrica Fils-Aime, Ken Gardner, Phoebe Godfrey, Paris Goodyear-Brown, Robert Grant, Natalie Hadiprodjo, Cary Hamilton, Lesley Harvey, Sarah Hickson, Linda E. Homeyer, Sue Jennings, Vanessa Kellner, Sueann Kenney-Noziska, Simon Kerr-Edwards, Terry Kottman, Jamie Langley, Ariel Marrero, Mary Morrison Bennett, Jodi Ann Mullen, Claire Niven, Yumiko Ogawa, Kristie K. Opiola, Judi Parson, Dee C. Ray, Kate Renshaw, Bridget Sarah, Karen Stagnitti, Anne Stewart, Alyssa Swan, Kaleb A. Thompson, Rise Van Fleet, Marieke van Nuenen, William F. Whelan, Lorri Yasenik, Zhou De-Hui Ruth

About the Editors:

Athena A. Drewes, PsyD, MA, MS Ed., RPT-S, is a licensed clinical psychologist, certified school psychologist and Registered Play Therapist and Supervisor. Formerly Director of Training and Director of the American Psychological Association Doctoral Psychology Internship at Astor Services for Children and Families in New York, she currently lives in Ocala, FL. She has over 45 years of clinical and supervision experience with complex trauma, sexual abuse, foster care children and adolescents, in school, outpatient and inpatient settings. She is former Board of Director of the Association for Play Therapy and Founder and President Emeritus of the NY Association for Play Therapy. She is a frequently invited guest lecturer around the United States and internationally around the world, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, England, Ireland, Italy, Mexico and Taiwan. She is a renowned writer of play therapy and has published numerous book chapters, journal articles and edited/co-edited twelve play therapy books. Her most recent books are Play-based interventions for childhood anxieties, Fears, and phobias; Puppet play therapy; Play therapy in middle childhood with a companion DVD of Dr. Drewes demonstrating her work in Prescriptive Integrative Play Therapy with the American Psychological Association; and co-edited with Dr. Charles Schaefer The Therapeutic powers of play. 20 Core agents of change.

Jodi Ann Mullen, PhD, LMHC, RPT-S is a professor at SUNY Oswego in the Counseling & Psychological Services Department and the coordinator of the Graduate Certificate Program in Play Therapy. She is also the Director of Integrative Counseling Services in Central New York. Dr. Mullen is an international speaker, author, credentialed play therapist and play therapy supervisor. She routinely provides clinical supervision and consultation for clinicians from across the United States and from Ireland, Australia, England, Jamaica, and Canada. Dr. Mullen has over 25 years of experience in the field of counseling and play therapy. She has authored books, book chapters and journal articles in play therapy, counseling children and adolescents, grief counseling and parenting. Dr. Mullen is a former clinical editor for the Play Therapy magazine and was the 2008 recipient of the Key Award for Professional Training & Education through the Association for Play Therapy.

Foreword – Eliana Gil

Introduction – Mullen & Drewes

Part I: Groundwork and Foundations

Chapter 1: Through a Cultural Lens: How Viewing Childhood as a Distinct Culture Impacts Supervision – Jodi Ann Mullen


The Shift

Case Study: Rowan

Defining the Culture of Childhood

Assessing Supervisees’ Cross-Cultural Skills

How to Honor the Culture of Childhood in Mental Health



Chapter 2: Consideration of Child Development in Play Therapy and Supervision – Athena Drewes


Developmental Models

Erik Erikson (1963) – Maturational-Developmental Theory

Jane Loevinger (1976) – Ego Development

Jean Piaget (1932/1965) – Cognitive Theory

Lawrence Kohlberg (1987) – Moral Development

Lev Vygotsky (1966) – Cognitive Development Theory

Stanley Greenspan (1993) – Emotional Development

Sigmund Freud (1905) – Psychosexual Development

Sue and Sue (2003) – Racial/Cultural Identity Development

Special Considerations

Assessing Cognitive-Developmental Level

Impact of Trauma on Development

Sexualized Behavior: Normal Development vs Abuse

Case Example



Chapter 3: Where the Personal and Professional Meet: Consideration of Attachment Dynamics in Play Therapy Supervision – Simon Kerr-Edwards


Theoretical Approach

Relevant Research

Unique Aspects and Challenges of Supervision

Incorporating Experiential Elements in Supervision


1. Attachment History and Patterns

  • Rationale
  • Attachment Constellation
    • Materials
    • Instructions
    • Reflection

2. Secure Base and Safe Haven

  • Rationale
  • Design Your Own Supervision Space
    • Materials
    • Exercise
    • Instructions
    • Reflection
  • Storm Shelter
    • Materials
    • Exercise
    • Instructions
    • Reflection

Working Alliance

  • Rationale
  • Supervision Jigsaw
    • Materials
    • Exercise
    • Instruction
    • Reflection



Chapter 4: Integrating the Use of Placement and Assessment Review (PAR) in Play Therapy Supervision – Bridget Sarah, Kate Renshaw, Natalie Hadiprodjo, Phoebe Godfrey, and Judi Parson



What Are Competencies?

Competencies in Play Therapy

Introducing the Placement Assessment and Review (PAR)

Development of the Placement Assessment and Review (PAR)

The What, How and Why of the Placement Assessment and Review

The Supervisory Relationship

Domain A: Links Theoretical Knowledge to Inform Play Therapy Practice

Domain B: Reflects on Clinical Play Therapy Practice and Therapeutic Skills

Domain C: Demonstrates Professional Practice and Conduct

Further Applications and Considerations


Recommended Resources


Chapter 5: When Approaches Collide: New Insights Using the Play Therapy Dimensions Case Conceptualization Tools – Ken Gardner and Lorri Yasenik

Rationale for a Defined Play Therapy Supervision Model

The Play Therapy Dimension Model

Decision-Making Using the Four Quadrants

Developmental Framework for Supervision

Avoiding Collision Points in Play Therapy: Supervision Mechanisms and Tools

Child and Therapist Moderator Factors Scale

Therapist Degree of Immersion Scale

Case Vignette




Part II: Growing Supervisees and Supervisors

Chapter 6: International Supervision for Play Therapy Practice: Navigating the Translatable – Judi Parson, Sarah Hickson, Belinda Dean, and Ruth Zhou



Supervision Definition

Models of Supervision

Humor in Supervision

Ethical Considerations

Setting the International Supervision Scene

Your Time or Mine

Additional Considerations for International Supervision Contracts


Navigating the Narrative


Presenting Issues

Aims and Objectives of Play Therapy



  • First sessions


  • Middle sessions


  • End sessions

An Aesthetic Response to Tommy’s Story and the Process of the International Supervision


Key Readings

Additional Resources


Chapter 7: Climbing the Ladder: The Unique Challenges of Supervision of Supervision – Athena A. Drewes



Supervision of Supervision

Supervisor Competencies

Regulatory Requirements

Defining Supervision of Supervision and Its Levels


Mirror Effect

Setting Clear Goals

Difference and Power in Supervision


Case Example



Chapter 8: Techniques to Unlock the Creative Potential of Play Therapist Supervisors – Jamie Langley


Creative Potential

Exploring the Keys

Get Up and Move

Spend Time in Nature

Listen to Music

Engage in Mindfulness Practice

Seek Sanctuary, Silence, and Stillness

Get Some Rest

Just Do It

Creativity Unlocked


Chapter 9: Playful Supervision: Sharing Attachment-informed Exercises in the Supervision of Play Therapists – Anne Stewart, William F. Whelan, and Lennis G. Echterling

Supervision and Play Therapy

Caregiving and Effective Supervision

Attachment Security as a Guide to Secure Supervision

Attachment-Informed Exercises

Safe Haven Needs

  • Sensory Mapping
  • Pocket Pals
  • Mindful Walk

Secure Base Needs

  • Getting to Know You
  • Cultural Collage


  • Original Work
  • Supervisionland
  • Tag Team Role Playing

Reflective Functioning

  • Drawing Together
  • Quotes
  • Inkshedding
  • Storytelling



Chapter 10: Supervision: Seeing Ourselves and Clients in the Sand – Mary Morrison Bennett and Linda E. Homeyer


Supervision in the Sand Tray

Model of Supervision

Sand Tray as a Supervisory Intervention

Experiential Sand Tray Activities

Understanding the System

Understanding their World

Compare and Contrast

Understanding Parents

Understanding the Session

Understanding Your Professional Development

Play Genograms

Resistant Supervisees

Processing Sand Tray in the Supervision Session




Part III: Critical Building Blocks

Chapter 11: Multicultural Supervision: Building Culturally Responsive Play Therapists – Lyrica Fils-Aime

Children See Inequities

What is Multicultural Supervision?

Why Focus on Race in Play Therapy Supervision

Developing an Equity Lens as a Play Therapist

Unconscious Bias

Colorblindness Bias

Deficit Thinking

Supervision across Similar Identities

How Does Racism Impact Children?

Supervision across Difference

Goals for Supervisees

A Culturally Responsive Play Therapist


Appendix 1

Appendix 2: Recommended Reading to Keep Learning

Appendix 3

Chapter 12: The “Good” Clinician: A Steep Learning Curve—Beyond Good to Culturally Safe – Claire Niven, Heather Coull, Lesley Harvey, and Judi Parson


Author Introductions


Is It Safe?


Recommended Resources


Chapter 13: Developing Cultural Humility: Play-based Techniques for Supervisors – Ariel Marrero

What is Cultural Humility?

Research on Cultural Humility

The Difference Between Cultural Competence and Cultural Humility

Cultural Humility in Supervision

The Supervisor-Supervisee Relationship

Conversations about Culture

Supporting Supervisee Self-Reflection

Using Play-Based Techniques in Supervision

Cultural Humility Map

Tough Conversation Puppet Show

Cultural Ruptures in the Sand

Past, Present, and Future Self



Chapter 14: Ethical and Social Justice Considerations in Play Therapy Supervision – Jeffrey S. Ashby and Marieke van Nuenen


Nonmaleficence and Beneficence




Chapter 15: Supervising on the Global Stage: Unraveling the Stories or the Layering of Intimacy – Sue Jennings


Models of Supervision Practice

Neuro-Dramatic-Play (NDP)

Theater of Resilience (ToR)

The Supervisory Mandala

The Story of Markandeya (Adapted from the Mahabharata)


Part IV: Working with Parents, Families, and Groups

Chapter 16: Group Supervision of Group Filial Therapy: Playing with Symbols and Metaphor to Foster Self-Awareness – Sue C. Bratton, Alyssa Swan, and Kristie K. Opiola


Group Supervision of Group Filial Therapy: Playing with Symbols and Metaphor to Foster Self-Awareness

Supervision Model

Importance of Self-Awareness

Group Supervision

Incorporating Expressive Media

Role of the Supervisor in Presenting Expressive Media

Example Experiential Activity


Activity: Sand Tray

Materials and Set-up


Processing Prompts


Unique Aspects and Challenges



Chapter 17: The Van Fleet Collaborative Model of Supervision: It’s All About the Relationship – Rise Van Fleet


Theoretical Approach


Influences on Supervision Approach

The VanFleet Collaborative Model of Supervision

Supporting Principle of the Collaborative Model

Standard Aspects of Supervision

The Process of the Collaborative Model

  1. Supervisee Case Presentation
  2. Supervisor Responds to this Information
  3. Supervisee Shares Ideas and Plans for Future Sessions
  4. Supervisor Responds, and Shares Suggestions and Ideas for the Next Several Client Sessions
  5. Supervisor Invites and Manages Other Ideas and Suggestions from the Group (if Group Supervision)
  6. Supervisee Gives Reactions to Suggestions Made
  7. Supervisor and Supervisee Jointly Develop Action Plan, and Follow-Up Plan in Future Supervision Meetings

Guidelines for Giving Feedback

Relevant Research

Unique Aspects and Challenges of Supervision

Experiential Elements of Supervision

Create a Playful Climate

Use Recorded Session Segments Whenever Possible

Suggest a Roleplay of a Client Situation

Use Playful Roleplays to Rehearse Next Steps

Build Agency with Case Formulation Guidelines

Use Professional Development Plans



Chapter 18: Group Play Therapy Supervision: Integrating the Powers of Play and Group – Dee C. Ray, Yumiko Ogawa, and Yi-Ju Cheng


Supervising the Group Play Therapist

Supervision Case Studies

  • Noise and Mess
  • Matching and Timing
  • Imbalanced Responsiveness toward Children
  • Limit-Setting
  • Role of Therapist
  • Control Issues

Experiential Techniques

Structural Elements

Experiential Activities



Part V: Trauma-Focused Supervision

Chapter 19: Safe Boss, Nurturer and Storykeeper: Deepening the Embodiment of TraumaPlay® Roles in Supervision – Paris Goodyear Brown


Introduction to TraumaPlay

The Cascade of Care


Person of the Therapist Work and Parallel Process in Supervision

Supervision around the Authentic Self

The Primacy of Cross-Hemispheric Work in Supervision

Person of the Therapist Work around the Safe Bos Role

Person of the Therapist Work around the Nurturer Role

Intentional Invitations to Embodiment

The More Knowledgeable Other and Person of the Therapist Work

Person of the Therapist Work around the Storykeeper Role

Five and Dive



Chapter 20: Supervision of Play Therapists Working with Aggressive Children – David A. Crenshaw and Alyssa Swan

Appreciating Complexity in Understanding the Aggression of Children

Assessment of the Supervisory Relationship

Issues of Countertransference

Conflicts about Limit Setting

Playful Tools in Supervision of Play Therapists

Play Fighting

Creative Conceptualization



Chapter 21: Playful Trauma-Informed Supervision – Sueann Kenney-Noziska


Trauma-Informed Supervision

Rationale for Integrating Expressive Approaches into Trauma-Informed Supervision

Expressive Approaches for Trauma-Informed Supervision

Play-Based Applications

Art-Based Applications

Sandtray Applications

Unique Aspects of Trauma-Informed Supervision



Chapter 22: Prescribing Play: A Take on Playful Supervision for Healthcare Play Professionals – Jessika Boles and Sarah Daniels


Unique Aspects and Challenges of Supervising Healthcare Play Professionals

Play-Based Supervisory Techniques for Healthcare Play Professionals

Playful Techniques for Building Trusting Relationships

Playful Techniques for Encouraging Emotional Expression and Communication

Playful Techniques for Facilitating Exploration and Problem-Solving



Part VI: Special Settings

Chapter 23: Supervising Paraprofessionals: Critical Considerations for Special Populations and Diverse Settings – Kate Renshaw, Judi Parson, and Karen Stagnitti


Foundational Philosophies, Theories and Models




Play Therapists and Paraprofessionals

Clinical Practice with Special Populations in Diverse Settings

Training and Experience

Scope of Practice


Suitability of Collaborative Clinical Practice

Practice Example One – The TORA

Practice Example Two – The CORA

Establishing Collaborative Relationships

Integration of Play into Supervised Practice

Critical Supervision Considerations


Frequency, Length, and Format



Concluding Comments


Chapter 24: Getting Schooled: Play Therapy Supervision in School-Based Settings – Dee C. Ray and Kaleb A. Thompson


School-Based Play Therapy Supervision Considerations

School Play Therapy Supervision Research

Unique Aspects and Challenges of Supervising Play Therapy in the Schools

Academic Focus

School Culture

Teachers and Parents/Caregivers

Space and Time

Cultural Inclusivity

Presenting Problems – The Need to Know It All

Play Therapists Confidence

Supervision Techniques



Chapter 25: Bringing the Play of Play Therapy to Teleplay and Supervision – Jodi Mullen


What is Teleplay?

The Why of Teleplay

Aspects of the Process

Considerations when Providing Play Therapy Techniques and Interventions

  • Getting Started
  • Ethical Issues
  • Professional Competency
  • What Supervision of Teleplay Looks Like
  • Techniques and Interventions for Supervision
  • Authentic Learning
  • Virtual-Video Conference Supervision
  • Individual and Group Supervision
  • Role Play
  • Practice



Appendix: Home Play Therapy Kit

Chapter 26: Playing around with Supervision: Virtual Play-Based Techniques for Supervision – Terry Kottman


Theoretical Foundation/Models of Supervision

Adlerian Supervision of Play Therapy

Integrative Developmental Model of Supervision

System Approach to Supervision (SAS)

Playful Telesupervision Techniques



Chapter 27: Supervising Work with Autistic and Neurodivergent Children – Robert Grant and Cary Hamilton


Theoretical Approach or Model Used


Synthesized Developmental Model


2.Experimentation and Questioning

3.Philosophical decision-making transformed into practice

4.Person of Play Therapists emerges as professional

Relevant Research

Unique Aspects and Challenges of Supervision

Play Therapy Exercises

Sensory Processing Drawing

Directive Sandtray


Executive Functioning Understanding



Chapter 28: Reflective Supervision in Infant Play Therapy – Janet Courtney


Overview of Infant Play Therapy within an Infant Mental Health lens

Reflective Supervision in Infant Mental Health

Case study: “Speaking As If Baby Carlos” in a FirstPlay Reflective Infant Supervision

Infant Supervision

FirstPlay Infant Play Therapy Introduction

First Play Supervision Post-training Certification Requirements

Case Vignette Problem Background

Brief Literature Review of the Case

Problem of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Initial Case Sessions and Outcome Problem

Facilitating a Reflective Supervision Baby-doll Gestalt Dialogue


  • Supervisee, Colleen
  • Baby-doll Carlos speaking back to Colleen
  • FirstPlay Supervisor: “Colleen Can You Please Say What is Happening for you now.”
  • Supervisee, Colleen
  • First Play Supervisor

Compilation of the above process: Supervisee, Colleen speaking to Babydoll Carlos

  • Babydoll, Carlos speaking back to Colleen
  • Supervisee, Colleen speaking to Babydoll Carlos

Final Summary

Decision Questions and Role Play Activity



Instructions for “speaking as if the Baby” Gestalt Encounter

Part VII: Continued Development – Inside and Out

Chapter 29: How Supervisors can Reignite the Play Therapy Spark that Compassion Fatigue Dims – Jodi Mullen and Vanessa Kellner

All Things Compassion

The Relationship Between Compassion and Empathy

Compassion Inequity

Case study: Deconstructing Compassion Inequity

Pause and Reflect

How do we get off balance?

Looking to the body for answers

Accommodating the Self

Self-care Requires Self-Compassion

Practicing Informed Self-Care

What Addressing Compassion Inequity Requires

Playful Supervision Prompts

Self-Compassion Assessment Checklist



Chapter 30: Staying Regulated Through Supervision in a Dysregulated Global Environment – Athena Drewes



Emotional Regulation


Self-Care Strategies

Play-based Interventions

Practice Daily Gratitude

  • Three Good Things in Life
    • List Three Good things experienced recently

Creating Hope and Resilience

  • What to Do

Safe Place Guided Meditation




About the Editors

List of Contributors

This refreshingly playful comprehensive resource will be helpful for the novice and seasoned supervisor alike. I can see applying new techniques within supervision sessions, and with the addition of current topics, this will not be a one-time read but rather a resource to return to.
— Lisa Remey, LPC-S, RPT-S™️, owner, Bluebonnet Center for Play Therapy

This book is a gem that should be mandatory reading for every supervisor. Supervision Can Be Playful: Techniques for Child and Play Therapist Supervisors, Second Edition is jam-packed with amazing resources and interventions from the top experts in the field. It expands the way I do supervision and I now feel equipped with the tools to provide competent, creative, and playful supervision with even the most challenging case. I am grateful that this book exists.
— Tammi Van Hollander, LCSW, RPT-S, owner, Main Line Play Therapy

For those of us on the front lines of teaching and mentoring the rising generations of play therapists, the idea that a second edition of our beloved Supervision Can Be Playful has been in the works is exciting news. Taking a look inside, I was further thrilled to see the sheer breadth and depth of this extensively updated second edition, including the amount of new material, expanded focus on a global perspective, and cultural humility in supervision. The editors have taken care to invite a very skilled group of authors to go beneath the surface of the supervision relationship and incorporate themes of trauma, attachment inclusion, and creativity in this important role. Absolutely required reading for play therapy leaders and practitioners everywhere.
— Ann Beckley-Forest, LCSW-R, RPT-S, licensed clinical social worker, registered play therapy supervisor

By utilizing this essential book authored by Drs. Drewes and Mullen, supervisors can effectively address critical considerations, navigate various situations, and understand the impact of clinical supervision. The incorporation of play-based activities rooted in neurobiology knowledge enables supervisors to provide comprehensive guidance to diverse supervisees while safeguarding against burnout. Each chapter, structured around specific theoretical approaches, incorporates case examples to enhance comprehension and lay a strong foundation. With a significant portion of new chapters and the remainder updated, the information is current and readily applicable.
— Akiko J. Ohnogi, PsyD, clinical psychologist, Ohnogi Psychotherapy and Counseling

This book is a gift to the play therapy community. The wealth of expertise that the contributors share in this book offers an indulgent smorgasbord of theory, a reminder of the importance of referring to a diverse range of frameworks when developing play therapy practice and supervision. It provides a deep dive into the role, purpose, and necessity of supervision in therapeutic work, exploring the complexity and beauty of this space between us, as Hawkins and Shohet (Supervision in the Helping Professions, 2012) describe it. The reader is asked to consider the central function of supervision, drawing comparisons with the wisdom of the Aboriginal communities as they call for Dadirri: a process of listening, reflecting, observing the feelings and actions, reflecting and learning. The theory is interspersed with fresh, playful ideas for supervision practice such as the wonderfully named Supervisionland. However, what really makes this book stand out from the crowd is its recognition of the vital role that play therapy supervision holds in building cultural humility and safety in supervisees and, in turn, their clients. This book strongly argues that cultural humility and safety is a lifelong process of self-development as therapists, rather than a set of techniques or strategies we can become competent in. It also argues the need for play therapists to de-center themselves to combat bias and develop cultural humility as a way of being with our clients, which is inherently respectful, curious, and open. As Rise Van Fleet reminds us, for supervision, its all about the relationship.
— Ruth Lazarus, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services; Sussex NHS Partnership Foundation Trust; Held in Mind CIC; former chair, British Association of Play Therapists

The first edition, published in 2008, was an excellent resource for play therapy supervision, but knowledge has advanced in the field since that time, and this second edition offers much more. It is bound to become the primary source for play therapy supervisors and supervisees, both novice and experienced. It includes all things necessary to provide evidence-informed creative, relational supervision. Experts in the field have edited this volume, and well-known and respected academics and practitioners address a wide variety of topic areas. It will be the go-to for certification preparation, especially when combined with O’Connor, Schaefer, and Braverman’s Handbook of Play Therapy (2015).

Eliana Gil reminds us in the foreword, There is no greater responsibility, no greater privilege than to participate in the helping profession of mental health. We rely on supervision and cling to the hope that it will bring us a deeper understanding of the clinical decisions that we make. My most memorable professional years were spent supervising therapists in training, offering them roots and the means to grow. The alliance formed in supervision is a precious one of resonance, attunement, and empathy—the supervisory relationship becomes a safe place that encourages openness, risk-taking, and personal as well as professional growth. Through supervision, we create the next generation of ethical, competent, research-grounded play therapists.

This valuable source of updated information will strengthen training, teaching, and clinical supervision through hands-on, creative, culturally sensitive methods for play therapy supervision, tailored to those working with children and in specialty areas such as attachment development, group therapy, trauma, teletherapy, and neurodivergence. This timely publication needs to be made available in academic libraries, child welfare offices, training clinics, treatment centers, and private practices. Play therapy and supervision are both art- and science-based, and this volume will add to the fields credibility, professionalism, and expertise.
— Patricia Pernicano, PsyD, licensed clinical psychologist; author of Metaphorical Stories for Child Therapy: Of Magic and Miracles

What a worthwhile book! It fills an arena that has been left impoverished in our field: how do supervisor and supervisee create a parallel universe of play between them that mirrors the playfulness of the therapy with the child? Focusing on both the content and process of supervision, this is a book that will be much read and cherished by all play therapists and their supervisors.
— Steven Tuber, PhD, ABPP, City College of New York; author of Attachment, Play, and Authenticity: Winnicott in a Clinical Context and co-author of Starting Treatment with Children and Adolescents

This comprehensive book will be absolutely ravaged by play therapy supervisors! I imagine many colorfully highlighted pages as the reader progresses through such a valuable offering. Drewes and Mullen have gathered the very best international thinkers, writers, and supervisors to address contemporary topics across diverse settings, inclusive practices, and differing delivery modalities. This book is a testament to the complexity, privilege, and responsibility that encircles the dynamics between supervisor and supervisee. Clean off a corner of your desk because this second volume should never be more than arms length away.
— Mary Anne Peabody, University of Southern Maine

A must-have text for all play therapy supervisors. This comprehensive text is well structured and accessible, and it practically considers a broad range of relevant issues for supervisors of play therapists.
— Jacki Short, director, Sydney Centre for Creative Change

Supervision Can Be Playful: Techniques for Child and Play Therapist Supervisors, Second Edition provides a rich breadth of knowledge and practice-based guidance to inform supervisory work. Thoughtful reviews of up-to-date literature, along with practice implications and illustrations, are clearly presented across many important and topical areas, such as engaging in ethical and culturally aware supervision practice, providing trauma-informed supervision, and supervising remotely. Throughout this book, the importance of play-based learning in supervision is foregrounded. Some chapters are of specific relevance for supervising child and play therapists, but I found many inspiring illustrations of creative supervision practice that could be applied for supervision across the helping professions, supporting us to maintain vitality, curiosity, creativity, and resilience in our work.
— Aisling McMahon, chair of professional diploma in clinical supervision, Dublin City University

This book is an incredibly useful resource for play therapy supervisors both new and seasoned. It helps guide the supervisor with many interventions to gain insight with work with their client in multiple ways, such as art, music, sand, and writing, targeting many learning styles. There has been careful care and attention to the additions to this book from renowned professionals, and a portion on telehealth and secondary trauma has been added as well—a must-have post-pandemic.
— Kristen Melcher, LMHC, RPT-S, CCPT-S

This text is a must-have resource for play therapists around the world. International contributors have provided valuable insight into the importance of the relationship between supervisor and supervisee so that those who visit our play spaces feel heard, seen, and held on their healing journey.
— Theresa Fraser, Maritime Play Therapy Centre, Changing Steps Child and Family Counselling

This significantly expanded edition of Drewes and Mullen’s already impressive book is as, the authors intended, truly inclusive and encompassing, bringing a rich, contemporary, and importantly global perspective to the scope of supervision issues. It will be an immensely valuable resource for clinical supervisors to refer to for up-to-date thinking on how to support their supervisees, whether they are in training or fully qualified play therapists, and to discover fresh ideas for play-based approaches to enhance their supervisory relationship. The 30 expansive chapters draw on the diverse expertise and wisdom of high-profile play therapists from around the world, all of whom are responsive to current pressing societal needs for practitioners who are aware of ethical and cultural sensitivities and who can adapt their clinical and supervisory practice to different populations and contexts, including remote working and systemic collaborations. Many chapters also contain accessible and practical ideas of experiential activities for use in supervision to make the experience more playful, creative, and relational, and thus more effective.
— Lisa Gordon Clark, BAPT-accredited play therapist; former programme convener, Play Therapy MA, University of Roehampton, London; editor, British Journal of Play Therapy

I wish I had this book when I first began supervising. Wow! It offers such great insights for why a student might be feeling stuck with a client and then suggests practical interventions to use in supervision.
— Clarissa Salinas, The University of Texas–Rio Grande Valley

Supervision Can Be Playful is an insightful collection enriched with the wisdom and learning of the authors. I am already using their creative techniques to guide and reflect on the supervision process and in doing so, deepening what I bring to my supervisees as I facilitate and accompany them on their journeys as play therapists and also my own practice and how I use my own clinical supervision space.
— Sara Greig, InsideOutside Therapy, Scotland

This second edition is an invitation to access creativity in all its forms when holding the supervision space. It promotes the need for humility, open-mindedness, curiosity, playfulness, and joy to maximize the depth and discoveries that creative supervision can engender.
— Jess Jäger, MBAPT, Lewes Play Therapy

A very necessary, concise yet broad range of topics covered in this play therapy supervision book. This will make an excellent resource to assist supervisors working with a diverse range of supervisees. I was particularly excited and pleased to see the chapter relating to healthcare professionals because I was trained as a hospital play specialist in the 1980s, prior to MSc Play Therapist, and I supervise play therapists working with oncology and life-limiting diseases. A really exciting and valuable collection of topics covered within this book.
— Shirley Fenwick, BAPT registered play therapist and clinical supervisor



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