Research and Publications

One of our main goals here at the Center for Play Therapy is to find, publish, and disseminate as much research and literature as we possibly can on play therapy. We want the world to know about the power of play! In order to reach that goal, we have created two searchable, online databases that are open to everyone and easy to use.

Play Therapy Outcome Research Database

Does play therapy work? Another great thing we have here at the Center for Play Therapy is our Research Database. The Research Database is a collection of all of the intervention outcome research that has been conducted on play therapy and filial therapy since 1995. We recently used this database to help play therapy and child-parent relationship therapy become recognized as Evidence-Based by SAMHSA and CEBC. This is another searchable, user friendly database with over 100 studies included. Not too familiar with research? No problem! We took the time to summarize the methods and results of every study. You can expand the entries to view all the important details of the study. If you want to read the full article, just copy and paste the APA reference into your web browser or your university’s online library search bar (some entries will be open access and can viewed by all users, while other entries may require payment or special access through memberships).

Learn More - Go to the Research Database


Meta-Analyses combine the results and effect sizes of many studies conducted over time to get a more holistic view of how play therapy has impacted society. Four meta-analytic studies examining the effectiveness of play therapy have been conducted since 2000 and we have summarized the methodology and findings of all of them for you here.