Dr. Yvonne Garza

Dr. Yvonne Garza

Associate Professor

Yvonne Garza

TEC 338


Yvonne Garza received her Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of North Texas with a specialty in Play Therapy. She is currently an associate professor, and her current service posts include Counseling Program Coordinator, as well as, Coordinator of the Play Therapy Institute in the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. She has over 20 years of clinical experience working with children and families in the areas of both outpatient and inpatient mental health, to include work with juvenile offenders, children and adolescents in schools, and contract work with cancer patients. She has an active service role in the professional community and has served on the board of the local, and state, play therapy associations and is on several committees for the national play therapy association. Dr. Garza has been invited to consult with half a dozen school districts in Texas, speak as a guest lecturer across universities, and serves as a mentor to many doctoral students.

Dr. Garza has published in state and national journals, and has been an invited lecturer/researcher across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica. She has been a past recipient of the TCA Professional Writing Award and a past recipient of the TAPT Nancy Guillory Award. She is an active clinician and field researcher which adds value to her training workshops, presentations, and research.

Courses Taught:

  • COUN 6331 Advanced Play Therapy
  • COUN 5391 Child and Adolescent Counseling
  • COUN 5111 Orientation to Counseling
  • COUN 5399 Play Therapy Basics
  • COUN 6376 Supervised Practicum
  • COUN 5364 Theories of counseling
  • COUN 6386 Internship
  • COUN 5110 Workshop in Sandtray
  • COUN 7336 College Teaching in Counseling

Field-Based Research Projects:

  • Play therapy with Hispanic children
  • Child-Parent Relationship Training with parents of Hispanic children
  • Adlerian sandtray therapy with addicted clients
  • Pet-Assisted therapy in the school setting: A qualitative study
  • Filial therapy with Hispanic parents of children who were victims of family violence
  • Child Teacher Relationship training
  • Qualitative study in Costa Rica




Abstracts to JIP Group Play Therapy Article


  • Bornsheuer, J. & Garza, Y. (2012). Playful interventions for children who have experienced trauma: A literature overview. Wisconsin Counseling Journal,26(1), 15-26.
  • Fitzgerald, K., Henriksen, R. R., & Garza, Y. (2012). Perceptions of counselors regarding the effectiveness of interventions for traumatized children. International Journal of Play Therapy, 21(1), 45-56. doi: 10.1037/a0026737
  • Frels, R. K., Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Bustamante, R. M., Garza, Y., Leggett, E. S., Nelson, J. A., & Nichter, M. (in press). The roles, purposes, and approaches of selected mentors in school-based mentoring: A collective case study. Psychology in the Schools.
  • Hart, L. & Garza, Y. (2012).Teachers perceptions of effects of a student’s death: A phenomenological study. Omega, 66(4), 317-327. doi: http//dx.doi.org/10.2190/OM.66.4b


  • Bornsheurer, J., Garza, Y., & Nichter, M. (2011). Biblically-based parenting and child-parent relationship training: Common ground for helping religious clients. Journal of Mental Health Religion and Culture,(iFirst), 1-12. doi:10.1080/13674676.2011.552487
  • Monakes, S., Garza, Y., Wiesner, V., & Watts, R. (April, 2011). Implementing Adlerian Sand Tray Therapy with Adult Male Substance Abuse Offenders: A Phenomenological Inquiry. The Journal of Offender and Addictions Counseling, 31(2).
  • Sepulveda, C., Garza, Y., & Morrison, M. (2011). Child-teacher Relationship training: A phenomenological study. International Journal of Play Therapy 20(1), 12-25. doi: 10.1037/a0021938
  • Stark, M. D., Frels, R. K., & Garza. (2011). The use of sandtray in solution-focused supervision. The Clinical Supervisor, 30(2), 277-290. doi: 10.1080/07325223.2011.621869
  • Utley, A. & Garza, Y. (2011). The therapeutic use of journaling with adolescents. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health 6(1), 29-41. doi: 10.1080/15401383.2011.557312


  • Garza Y., & Watts, R. (winter, 2010). Filial therapy and Hispanic values: Common ground for culturally sensitive helping. Journal of Counseling and Development, 88,107-111.
  • Kinsworthy, S., & Garza, Y. (2010). Filial Therapy with Victims of Family Violence: A Phenomenological Study. Journal of Family Violence, 25(4), 423-429. doi: 10.1007/s10896-010-9303-y


  • Garza, Y., Falls, L., & Bruhn, R. (2009). Measuring deeper meaning responses: A discrimination scale for play therapists in training. International Journal of Play Therapy, 18, 147-161. doi: 10.1037/a0015548
  • Garza, Y., & Kinsworthy, S., & Watts, R. (2009). Child-parent relationship training as experienced by Hispanic Parents: A phenomenological study. International Journal of Play Therapy, 18, 217-228. doi: 10.1037/a0017055


  • McDonald, K., & Garza, Y. (2008). Children’s perceptions of pets in the student-counselor relationship. Wisconsin Counseling Journal, 22, 27-38.
  • Watts, R., & Garza, Y. (2008). Using children’s drawings to facilitate the acting “As If” procedure. Journal of Individual Psychology 64(1), 113-118.


  • Garza, Y., Watts, R., & Kinsworthy, S. (2007). Filial Therapy: A process for developing strong parent-child relationships. The Family Journal, 15(3), 277-281. doi: 10.1177/1064807073013


  • Garza, Y., & Bratton, S. C. (2005). School-based child-centered play therapy with Hispanic children: Outcomes and cultural considerations.  International Journal of Play Therapy, 14(1), 51-79.

Book Chapters

  • Garza, Y. (2010). School-based child-centered play therapy with Hispanic Children: Outcomes and cultural consideration. In J. Baggerly, D. Ray, and S. Bratton (Eds.), Effective Play Therapy: Evidence-Based Filial and Child-Centered Research Studies. San Francisco, CA: Wiley and Sons.
  • Garza, Y., & Kinsworthy, S. (in press). Extreme parenting makeover: Three steps toward a healthier family. In D. Eckstein (Ed.), The Couples Matchbook: Counseling Activities for Lighting, Kindling, or Extinguishing the Flame. El Cajon, CA: National Social Science Press.
  • Watts, R., & Garza, Y. (2008). Using child-centered play therapy skills in a constructive therapy context. In J. Raskin & S. Bridges (Eds.), Studies in meaning: Vol. 3. New York: Pace University Press.


  • Garza, Y. (winter, 2008). A parenting make-over: Three tips toward a healthier family.  Texas Association for Play Therapy Playbill Newsletter, p.11.
  • Garza, Y. (winter, 2007). A Parenting Make-over: Three Tips Toward a Healthier Family. Texas Association for Play Therapy Newsletter.
  • Garza, Y., Nelson, J., & Serres, S. (2006). Tenure and Promotion Tips: Guidelines and Templates (CD). College of Education. Huntsville, TX: Sam Houston State University.
  • McNulty, B., & Garza, Y. (spring, 2004) The truth behind a touch. Visions Newsletter. American College Counseling Association.

Sam Houston State Logo

Sam Houston State University | Huntsville, Texas 77341 | (936) 294-1111 | (866)BEARKAT Member TSUS
© Copyright Sam Houston State University | All rights reserved. | Contact Web Editor