At the UCF Play Lab, our mission is to promote best practices for serving children through the process of play therapy, a developmentally, responsive approach to counseling children through immersion in the community. To fulfill this purpose, we have developed partnerships with local schools to provide play therapy services to children in need, evaluating the effectiveness of this approach through research. At the center, we provide opportunities for training, research, publications, and partnerships with those in the community that share this mission.

Meet the Staff

Dalena Dillman Taylor, PhD, LPC, RPT, is an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida, past president of the North Texas Association for Play Therapy (2013–2014), and the play therapy certificate coordinator at UCF. Dr. Dillman Taylor is a trained Adlerian play therapist and focuses her research on the effectiveness of Adlerian play therapy with children and adolescents who demonstrate disruptive behaviors or academic difficulties in the classroom and at home.

(From left to right) Dr. Dalena Taylor, President John C. Hitt (1992-2018), Dr. Glenn Lambie

Lead Research Assistant
Caitlin Frawley, M.A., Ed.M. is the lead research assistant for the UCF Play Lab. She is a third-year doctoral candidate in the Counselor Education and Supervision program at the University of Central Florida. She focuses her research on play therapy with children exposed to complex trauma, and trauma-informed counseling with children and families in the foster care system. Her dissertation study is entitled: An Investigation of Change Mechanisms Using Psychophysiological Data: Child-Centered Play Therapy with Children Exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences.


Caitlyn Frawley headshot

Caitlin Frawley

Research Assistant
Kaleb Thompson is a Mental Health Counseling master's student, specializing in Play Therapy at the University of Central Florida. He is actively involved in play therapy research on campus and is a member of the American Counseling Association. He is passionate about play therapy, children, and the LGBTQIA+ community. Kaleb currently serves as an assistant to the editor of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling.

Scroll to top