Infant Play Therapy is a groundbreaking resource for practitioners interested in the varied play therapy theories, models, and programs available for the unique developmental needs of infants and children under the age of three.

The impressive list of expert contributors in the fields of play therapy and infant mental health cover a wide range of early intervention play-based models and topics. Chapters explore areas including: neurobiology, developmental trauma, parent-infant attachment relationships, neurosensory play, affective touch, grief and loss, perinatal depression, adoption, autism, domestic violence, sociocultural factors, and more. Chapter case studies highlight leading approaches and offer techniques to provide a comprehensive understanding of both play therapy and the ways we understand and recognize the therapeutic role of play with infants.

In these pages professionals and students alike will find valuable clinical resources to bring healing to family systems with young children.

part I|49 pages


chapter 2|19 pages

The Impact of Play on the Developing Social Brain

New Insights from the Neurobiology of Touch
ByEmily Jackson, Francis McGlone

chapter 3|13 pages

Neurosensory Play in the Infant–Parent Dyad

A Developmental Perspective
ByKen Schwartzenberger

part II|29 pages

Assessment with Young Children

chapter 4|14 pages

Play Ability

Observing, Engaging, and Sequencing Play Skills for Very Young Children
ByJudi Parson, Karen Stagnitti, Bridget Dooley, Kate Renshaw

chapter 5|13 pages

Trauma-Informed Infant Mental Health Assessment

ByEva Nowakowski-Sims, Danna Powers

part III|46 pages

New and Adapted Theoretical Approaches and Models to Infant Play Therapy

chapter 6|18 pages

FirstPlay® Therapy Strengthens the Attachment Relationship Between a Mother with Perinatal Depression and Her Infant

ByKaren Baldwin, Meyleen Velasquez, Janet A. Courtney

chapter 7|16 pages

Infant Filial Therapy – From Conception to Early Years

Clinical Considerations for Working with Whole Family Systems
ByKate Renshaw, Judi Parson

part IV|41 pages

Programmatic Infant Play and Play-Based Interventions with Infant and Toddler Populations

chapter 9|12 pages

Baby Doll Circle Time

Strengthening Attunement, Attachment and Social Play
ByBecky A. Bailey

chapter 10|16 pages


A Developmental/Relational Play Therapy Model in the Treatment of Infants and Toddlers Exhibiting the Early Signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder
ByEsther Hess

chapter 11|11 pages

Reflections of Love in the TEACUP Preemie Program®

Strengthening the Attachment Relationship through FirstPlay® Infant Story-Massage
ByChelsea C. Johnson

part V|43 pages

Evidence-Based Infant Mental Health Models that Utilize Play Therapy Practices

chapter 12|14 pages

Using the Healing Power of Relationships to Support Change in Young Children Exposed to Trauma

Application of the Child–Parent Psychotherapy Model
ByHarleen Hutchinson

chapter 14|14 pages

Trust-Based Relational Intervention with a Two-Year-Old

An Adoption Case
ByMontserrat Casado-Kehoe, Casey Call, David Cross, Henry Milton

part VI|42 pages

Applications to Specific Populations in Infant Play Therapy

chapter 15|15 pages

Children Born Opioid-Addicted

Symptoms, Attachment and Play Treatment
ByAthena A. Drewes

chapter 16|15 pages

Hope After the Storm

Addressing the Impact of Perinatal grief on Attachment with Rainbow Babies Through an Embodied Grief Process
ByRenee Turner, Christina Villarreal-Davis

chapter 17|10 pages

Healing Reactive Attachment Disorder with Young Children Through FirstPlay® Kinesthetic Storytelling

ByJanet A. Courtney, Viktoria Bakai Toth, Carmen Jimenez-Pride