Axline's Principles

Axline's Basic Principles of Non-Directive Play Therapy

Much of current play therapy practice is based upon Virginia Axline’s work*. The therapist:

In applying these principles a practitioner uses a comprehensive 'Play Therapy Tool-Kit' which will enable the therapist to follow the child's lead.

*Axline was influenced by the person centred approach of Carl Rogers. She is recognised as the originator of non directive Play Therapy. Her well known book 'Dibs: In Search of Self' written in 1964 which describes how she worked with Dibs and how he was able to heal himself over a period of time is an excellent introduction to the subject. Axline in turn influenced Violet Oaklander who added a gestalt therapy approach to play therapy and extended the 'tool-kit' concept as described in her book 'Windows to Our Children'.