Dee C. Ray

Regents Professor and Elaine Millikan Mathes Professor in Early Childhood Education

Director of the Center For Play Therapy

Welch Street Complex-2 147


Texas is that state I call home. I’ve spent most of my life in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area with brief stints in Nashville, TN & San Diego, CA. I was fortunate to gain my master’s degree in counseling at the very young age of 21 from Vanderbilt University. But it took many more years to actually figure out what counseling is really about. Although I originally specialized in adolescents in the school setting, I was introduced to play therapy as a doctoral student at the University of North Texas. My training and experience in play therapy has been the guiding force for my professional growth and focus. I believe that the Child-Centered approach to working with children is aligned with my humanistic beliefs that all people are working toward self-actualization. My research agenda focuses on the quantitative effectiveness of play therapy, with a specific interest in school settings. I am an active member of the Association for Play Therapy and focus my work on demonstrating efficacy and disseminating information on play therapy. As part of my role in the UNT Counseling Program, I am honored to direct the Center for Play Therapy on campus. On a personal note, I have been married for 18 years to my college sweetheart. We are busy raising two boys, Elijah & Noah, who take up any free time that we might spend developing hobbies. I actively volunteer in both of our elementary and middle schools.