Research & Scholarly Achievement
at Gallaudet University
The Therapeutic Power of Play: Play Therapy Training Experiences of Mental Health Professionals with Deaf Clients
Children of all walks of life experience trauma, exhibit socioemotional challenges, and display behavioral symptoms that lead their caregivers to seek mental health services. Deaf and hard of hearing children experience these difficulties at an alarmingly higher rate than the general hearing population. While a practitioner should exist for every child who needs play therapy, there are not enough mental health professionals who are trained in both play therapy and working with deaf and hard of hearing clients. A considerable amount of research exists covering the efficacy of play therapy training models; however, research is not full-bodied when looking at the best training methods applicable for practitioners who may encounter a deaf or hard of hearing client. The purpose of the proposed qualitative study is to explore play therapy training experiences of mental health professionals who have used play therapy with deaf and/or hard of hearing clients. Questions explore experiences and perceptions of mental health professionals regarding their play therapy training and their training experiences related to the deaf population.