Effectiveness of Play Therapy on Problematic Behaviors of Preschool Children with Somatization

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Child-centered play therapy (CCPT) is an evidence-based intervention for children with a variety of presenting problems and diagnoses. However, the effectiveness of CCPT for young children with somatization has not been explored. Thus, in this study, two preschool children with clinical levels of somatization, as rated by parents or teachers on the Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2), participated in 14 sessions of CCPT. The participants’ problematic classroom behaviors were monitored prior to and during participation in play therapy. After participation in play therapy, both children displayed decreased symptoms of somatization and decreased problematic classroom behaviors. The results of this single-case research design are reviewed and implications for counselors are discussed.