Alternative Title

Clinician's perspective on the use and value of play in therapy with couples

Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type

Mixed method

Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Couples therapy, Play therapy, Play in adulthood, Play in couples therapy, Play in intimate relationships, Couple play, Play


The purpose of this study was to examine couples therapists perceptions of their use and value of play in the therapeutic encounter. Secondary to the main hypothesis, this thesis also solicited couples therapists to comment on their experience in couples therapy as a client and how this impacted their sense of relationship satisfaction. Forty-four couples’ therapists representing a variety of licensing credentials (psychologists, LPC’s, MSW/LMSW/LICSW, MFT’s) and time in practice completed a brief online questionnaire. The questionnaire asked participants to rate their use, value, and experience of play in the therapeutic encounter. Results indicate that clinicians who participated in this survey do value and use play in their practice with couples. Findings also suggest as influence of education increased participants use of play and use of assessments also increased. Major conclusions of this study indicate the need of play-based theory for couples work while students are in graduate school.




v, 65 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 51-54)

Included in

Social Work Commons