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Date of Award


Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Wendy Miller, PsyD

Second Advisor

Sandra Jenkins, PhD


A review of the theoretical literature in play therapy has repeatedly found that the therapeutic relationship is necessary, but not sufficient, for effective therapy to occur. While this hypothesis has been well-documented in adult psychotherapy research, it has barely been examined with children and adolescents. These conditions have been investigated in the present literature review; and several critical recommendations have been made - not only to examine the essential features of the therapeutic relationship in individual play therapy; but also, to strengthen the empirical base of child psychotherapy, in general.