A meta-analysis of play therapy outcomes with children aged 0-12 yrs was conducted to determine the overall effectiveness of play therapy and the variables related to effectiveness. Hierarchical linear modelling was used to analyze the data. The analysis showed an average treatment effect of 0.66 standard deviations. A strong relationship between treatment effectiveness and the inclusion of parents in the therapeutic process was reported. The duration of therapy also appeared to be related to treatment outcomes, with maximum effect sizes occurring after approximately 30 treatment sessions. Play therapy appeared to be as effective as non-play therapies in treating children experiencing emotional difficulties. Recommendations for future researchers focus on explaining therapeutic or participant characteristics that are related to treatment effectiveness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
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