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The Children’s Apperception Test (CAT), developed by Leopold Bellak and Sonya Sorel Bellak in 1949, is a projective assessment tool in which clinicians ask children, ages 3 and up, to tell a story in response to each of ten pictures. The CAT informs play therapy theory and practice as interpretation of CAT stories utilizes the same process of interpretation of symbolic meaning used in interpreting the meaning of children’s imaginative play. In both, we gain insight into the nature of children’s needs, anxieties, conflicts, ego functions, superego functions, defensive responses, self-concept, internal representational models, and object relationships. The CAT offers standardized stimuli (stories) that allows for comparison of a child’s stories to normative stories, yielding insights that may not be observable in unstructured play. California Marriage and Family Therapists are permitted within their scope of practice to use psychological tests such as the CAT, with proper training, for assessment of clients whom they treat (though not for psychological assessment outside of treatment).

Other Credits: 10 hours of continuing education credit

Course Number: FPM-40648
Credit: 1.00 unit(s)
Related Certificate Programs: Play Therapy