Exploring the Accessibility of Child-Centered Play Therapy for Australian Muslim Children

Samantha Casey, Simon A. Moss, Joanne Wicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to explore the accessibility of child-centered play therapy with Australian Muslim children. Eleven Australian Muslim parents participated in semi-structured interviews that explored three broad topics of play, counseling, and play therapy. Thematic analysis indicated that, despite several barriers to accessing counseling, child-centered play therapy may be accessible to this population. Specifically, several key insights emanated from the interviews. For example, Muslim adults tend to prefer Muslim health practitioners; however, when seeking a therapist to assist their child, these parents are not as concerned about the religious beliefs of health practitioners. In addition, despite cultural stigma against mental health services, Muslim parents invoke religious tenets to justify the importance of therapy. Furthermore, although play may be regarded as being indulgent in the Islamic community, Australian Muslim parents in this study appreciated the benefits of play to the development and progress of children and indicated the Islamic literature embrace play, especially before the age of 7 years. Implications for developing culturally responsive practice of play therapy and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-259
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


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