CCGPT is designed to be a developmentally responsive, play-based mental health intervention for young children ages 3 to 10 who are experiencing social, emotional, behavioral, and relational disorders. The program aims to utilize play (the natural language of children) and the therapeutic relationship to provide a safe, consistent therapeutic environment. In this environment, a child can ideally experience full acceptance, empathy, and understanding from the counselor and, at the same time, process inner experiences and feelings through play and symbols. Additionally, CCGPT allows for children to experience social interactions with 2-3 group members which hopefully enables the children to learn and practice new social and coping skills. CCGPT is appropriate for children who struggle with peer or sibling relationships, as well as emotional and behavioral problems. In CCGPT, a child’s experience within the counseling relationship is designed to be the factor that is most healing and meaningful in creating lasting, positive change. Based on person-centered principles, the overarching goal of CCGPT is to unleash the child’s potential to move toward functional relationships and self-enhancing ways of being. Child outcome goals include decreased symptomatic behaviors.

Treatment Manual and Resources


Ray, D. (2011). Advanced play therapy: Essential conditions, knowledge, and skills for child practice. Taylor & Francis.***
***CCPT Treatment Manual available in the appendix. CCPT Treatment Manual is a pre-requisite for the implementation of CCGPT.

Ray, D., & Cheng, Y. (2018). Child-centered group play therapy implementation guide. Available here.

Cheng, Y., & Ray, D. (2018). Child-centered group play therapy skills checklist. Available here.

Available Languages

The CCGPT Implementation Guide is available in English. The CCPT treatment manual is available in English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Turkish. 

Child-Centered Group Play Therapy is designated as a promising evidence-based mental health intervention by The Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse and the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC).


Randomized Controlled Trials and Quasi-experimental Studies

(Mental Health Focus)

Blalock, S. M., Lindo, N., & Ray, D. C. (2019). Individual and group child‐centered play therapy: Impact on social‐emotional competencies. Journal of Counseling & Development, 97(3), 238–249.

Cheng, Y.-J., & Ray, D. C. (2016). Child-centered group play therapy: Impact on social-emotional assets of kindergarten children. Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 41(3), 209–237.

Shen, Y.-J. (2002). Short-term group play therapy with Chinese earthquake victims: Effects on anxiety, depression and adjustment. International Journal of Play Therapy, 11(1), 43–63.

Su, S.-H., & Tsai, M.-H. (2016). Group play therapy with children of new immigrants in Taiwan who are exhibiting relationship difficulties. International Journal of Play Therapy, 25(2), 91–101.

Tyndall-Lind, A., Landreth, G. L., & Giordano, M. A. (2001). Intensive group play therapy with child witnesses of domestic violence. International Journal of Play Therapy, 10(1), 53–83.

Get CCGPT Certified!

The UNT Center for Play Therapy offers Child-Centered Group Play Therapy (CCGPT) training according to the evidence-based model recognized by The Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse and California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare. Training in the evidence-based model of CCGPT requires following approved treatment protocols. The UNT Center for Play Therapy advises therapists to consider where they seek CCGPT training as some trainings do not teach according to the evidence-based model. For more information on the recognized protocols and training, search Child-Centered Group Play Therapy at Title IV or CEBC

Download the Child-Centered Group Play Therapy: An Evidence-Based Intervention quick facts flyer here.