One of the best ways that we can grow and legitimize SPT is through research, and many types of research at that. The vast majority of research comes out of University of North Texas where Dr. Sue C. Bratton, a professor in Counseling and Director of the Center for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas, recently won the 2016 lifetime achievement award. UNT is leading the charge at compiling research in the field to help make play therapy a more credible model of therapy. This is no easy task as there are many criteria that make research credible. She and her team are in the process of creating a website that will showcase and allow us to search for specific research. Stay tuned as this alone is exciting.
As for SPT research, Megan Joelle, a therapist in the Introduction to SPT class, has agreed to lead the charge at organizing the research efforts for SPT. She is in the process of looking through research grants, so that we can begin to attract funding for larger projects and to hire a PhD research analyst who can compile the data we collect.
Research also doesn’t have to happen on a grand scale. The field is really looking for all kinds of publications. Any article submitted to a magazine or journal with “Synergetic Play Therapy” as the topic supports the establishment of SPT in the field.
Here is how you can help:
- Write an article about some aspect of SPT and get it published
- Write a case study and get it published
- Interview me and turn it into a paper and get it published
- Volunteer to help with data collection
- Volunteer to be a part of the research team where we put our heads together to design projects
We currently have one project that is part way done–Anastasia Imig (2014 Certification Program student) interviewed a handful of SPT therapists about their experiences with compassion fatigue. The information has been compiled and themes have been identified.
We are looking for assistance in finishing this amazing project, as it will be a true gift to the field to learn about how compassion fatigue can be prevented. We specifically need help looking through the themes again and helping compile resources so that we can write the paper. If you are interested, we would include your name on the published report.
If you have ideas for research, want to be a part of the research team, have creative ways or contacts to seek our funding, have a relationship with a University that might want to take on a research project, etc, please jump in and help our research take off.