Louise Guerney

Louise Guerney, Ph.D., Director of Play and Filial Family Training at The National Institute of Relationship Enhancement®, is internationally recognized as one of the most prominent and innovative practitioners of child-centered play therapy. A licensed Clinical Psychologist, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, and a founding Board Member of the Association for Play Therapy, Dr. Guerney is known, together with her husband, Dr. Bernard Guerney, Jr., as the creator of Filial Family Therapy, a unique family therapy model that teaches parents how to become the primary therapeutic agents for their children through the medium of play therapy. As a Professor (now Emerita) of Human Development and Counseling Psychology at Penn State University, as a workshop instructor in scores of workshops conducted on four continents, and now as Director of Play Therapy and Filial Therapy Training at NIRE, Dr. Guerney has trained and supervised many hundreds of professionals. Independently and collaboratively, she has produced scores of articles and chapters on child and family therapy, two books, and training videotapes for therapists. Active in the professional community, she is one of the creators of PhoneFriend, a nationwide network of “warmlines” serving latchkey children, and has served on the Board of APA’s Division of Children, Youth and Family Services. She has developed a number of parent skills-training programs, including The Foster Parent Training Program in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. She serves on the Editorial Boards of several child- and family-oriented therapy journals, including The International Journal of Play Therapy. Dr. Guerney has won several national awards from state and national organizations for her contributions to child/family enrichment and therapy, including the 1988 Marriage and Family Therapy Award for Contributions to the Field of Marriage and Family Therapy, awarded by the Family Therapy Section of the National Conference of Family Relations, and together with her husband, the 1983 Mace Medal for Contributions to Marital Enrichment, awarded by the Association for Couple and Marital Enrichment.