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Colleen Martinez

Registered Play Therapist - Supervisor, Assistant Professor of Social Work, Ramapo College of New Jersey
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About Colleen

Martinez's research focuses on social work and relational pedagogy, play therapy, and anti-racism. Overarching themes in Martinez's writings include child and family well-being and best practices in child care and education (early childhood through higher ed). Martinez is an advocate for high quality public schools for all children. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Association for Infant Mental Health and provides supervision and consultation to mental health professionals, agencies, camps, and schools in order to help them meet the needs of children and families in effective and developmentally appropriate ways.


In the News

Quoted by Claude Brodesser-Akner in "Christie Warns Parents Opting Out of PARCC Could Trigger Reduced Services, Higher Local Taxes," NJ Advance Media for, April 23, 2015.
Quoted by Sarah Blaine in "Parenting the Core ," Guest Voices, March 15, 2015.
Quoted by Leslie Brody in "N.J. Parents, Educators Knock New State Tests," The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2015.
Quoted by Adam Clark in "PARCC Exams Blasted by Parents, Teachers, Students at Open Forum," NJ Advance Media for, January 7, 2015.


"Education Policy & Reform: What Do You Think?," (with Sherry Blair), NASW NJ Focus, October 2015.

Introduces social workers to issues related to public education reform and the impact on students and families.

"Grief and Loss Across the Lifespan ," (with Jeanne M. Koller and Carolyn Ambler Walter), Springer, 2021.

Provides an example of grief and loss in preschool age children and discusses the impact of school based child centered play therapy on a 4 year old girl.

"Bringing Play Therapy to School" (with Patricia Dowd). Play Therapy 7, no. 4 (2012).

Tackles the obstacles of providing Play Therapy in a school setting with knowledge and passion, and explain how to make it work.

"Child Maltreatment and Insecure Attachment: A Meta-Analysis" (with J. C Baer). Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 24( 24, no. 3 (2006): 187-197.

Examines attachment style and child maltreatment status. Reviews the research findings and conducts a meta-analysis to examine the effect size of maltreatment and insecure attachment across studies. Conducts a subpopulation analysis to investigate effect size by type of maltreatment.

"The Role of the Mother-Child Relationship in Child Sexual Abuse," (with Judith Baer, Chien Chung-Huang, Cassandra Simmel, and Harold Siegel), May 2009.

Examines NSCAW data with structural equation modeling to evaluate risk for sexual abuse. Factors that increase risk for boys and girls may differ.