Last year, Liana Lowenstein–the author and/or editor of several indispensable play therapy resources including Creative Family Therapy Techniques–published the first installment in her ‘CORY’ series, Cory Helps Kids Cope with Divorce: Playful Therapeutic Activities for Young Children. In this book, the title character guides children through the feelings they are having throughout the various stages of dealing with divorce. Cory’s relatibility helps to dissolve any comfort barriers in the therapist-child relationship, thus providing an ideal environment for the games, art, and other creative interventions that are introduced to facilitate treatment. In addition to the story and activities presented, the book also includes detailed handouts to inform and engage parents.
This month sees the release of the second book in the series, and we couldn’t be more thrilled by it’s arrival. Cory Helps Kids Cope with Sexual Abuse: Playful Activities for Traumatized Children utilizes the same innovative and effective format to help children work through the effects of sexual abuse and related trauma. It is an invaluable resource for treating a range of serious issues. Like all of her contributions to the practice of play therapy, this book is marked by her years of experience in the field, and her gift for developing fun, engaging games and interventions.
Of course, both of these titles are available at ChildTherapyToys.com. If you’ve used either one in your practice, we’d love to hear about your experience either here in the comment section, or as a review on the product page.
This is a fun technique by Jacqueline Swank, found in Favorite Therapeutic Activities for Children and Teens, edited by Liana Lowenstein. I’ve adapted it to be used with the Play Therapy Chalkboard, which I developed.
After reading a book about self-esteem, playing a game about self-esteem, or discussing self-esteem, clients are encouraged to draw a picture of themselves. In my session with Hillary we read I Like Myself, and then she drew a picture of herself on the chalkboard.
After finishing the drawing on the Play Therapy Chalkboard, Hillary was asked to make positive statements about herself, which I wrote down on post-its. When finished, I read each one aloud and Hillary posted each one on her drawing. I then took a picture of the drawing with the post-its on it and sent the picture home with Hillary.
During this activity, therapists can talk about how to make positive self-statements when upset or discouraged, using specific examples from the child’s life.
This activity can also be used in small group and family sessions, with members writing down positive statements about each other.
The therapist should adjust how active they are in generating positive and affirming statements based on the skill of the client to identify and accept their own positive characteristics.
While knowledge of play therapy is spreading more and more, most people are not as familiar with the workings of this therapeutic intervention as they are with standard psychotherapy. In fact, I’m willing to bet that one of the most common questions play therapists are asked is “What exactly is play therapy?” And any practitioner knows that it’s important that both the child and parent receive an accurate and comprehensive answer. It is with this in mind that Jane Annunziata created her book A Child’s First Book About Play Therapy, an excellent tool for explaining, and getting the most out of, the play therapy process. In this interview, Annunziata discuss the aim of her book and the many ways it can be used to facilitate an open and productive therapeutic experience. Enjoy!