My Top 10 Favorite Gifts for the Play Therapy Room


As a play therapist people are always asking me what I need to complete my play therapy room, which of course I answer a play room is never really done.  Here is a list of  10 items to give your play therapist this Christmas. Play therapists, feel free to add your top favorite gifts for your playroom in the comments!
1. Sandtray miniatures
2. Art supplies
3. Gift cards to craft stores or toy stores
4. Dollhouse furniture
5. Children’s books or activity books
6. People (can be family figures or people in the neighborhood)
7. Puppets
9. Board games
10. Sand!
You can find these items many places online, and of course at your regular retailers, like Target and Walmart.
I like:

Benefits of Therapy – Sam Feels Better Now! An Interactive Story for Children

Read the Most Recent Review of Sam Feels Better Now! and Interactive Story for Children.

Benefits of Therapy – Sam Feels Better Now! An Interactive Story for Children

Alison Gopnik: What do babies think?

A wonderful video about research and the way Babies and young children think and communicate.

Congratulations Play Therapy Mystery Session Contest Winner Jerri Dunn

Congratulations to Play Therapy Mystery Session contest winner, Jerri Dunn. He won a copy of my book, Sam Feels Better Now! An Interactive Story for Children. It is available for purchase from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc… in both paperback, Kindle, and Nook editions.

Thank you everyone who voted in the give-away. It was neck and neck between the Amusement Park and the Chocolate Factory so as the contest winner, Jerri broke the tie and now I am in the midst of creating a Chocolate Factory. What a challenge, I can’t wait to post the finished product. I want to continue to encourage you to be creative with your playroom, and think outside the box. If you have a Pinterest account, please feel free to follow me as I pin creative ideas for the playroom.

The Play Therapy Mystery Counseling Session…give away

If you are like me, you are on a budget, and don’t have a lot of money to always spend on toys or craft materials. That’s why I am so glad and inspired to find the Play Therapy Mystery Counseling Session from Dr. Michelle Stangline. In this exercise, the therapist creates and item needed for play therapy or creative therapy with objects he or she already has (no buying anything you don’t already have!). I thought this would be a fun exercise to try myself, and involve you! Please visit the “Creative Counseling Play Therapy Mystery Counseling Session” page, check the list of possible items that I might want for my playroom and comment below which one you would like to see me make. After I finish the object I will post a picture of it on my blog. As an added bonus, I will randomly select a reader from the comments who will receive a copy of my book “Sam Feels Better Now! and Interactive Story for Children.”

I will be taking votes through Monday February 6, 2012, Thanks!

Dolls help Women in Kenya Support their Families

I want to introduce you to Garry and Brenda Kean. Garry and Brenda Kean are missionaries in Nairobi, Kenya. You can see more of their story and ministry here. A part of there mission there is through their sewing ministry, Jacaranda Creations, helping women earn a living. Often these women would otherwise turn to prostitution or homemade beer making. Instead these women sew beautiful creations such as dolls, animal toys, bags, and purses.

They recently launched a children’s sponsorship program. For $35.00 per month a family or individual can sponsor a child from the slums to go to school. The sponsorship amount includes funds that will allow us to purchase a uniform and shoes for the child, school supplies, school fees and one meal per day. We follow up with the children in the program as well., Jacaranda Kids in this area as well.

I have posted several pictures where you can see the beautiful mother carrying her baby, and if you look closely you can see the baby peeking out from behind her mother. What a beautiful way to show the bond between a mother and child. I wanted to purchase these beautiful dolls they make which is a mother carrying a baby. I can feel confident that not only do I have a great, nurturing toy for my play room, I am also helping other women and children have better lives. Please take a look at their website and check out the Kean’s full ministry in Kenya. If you are interested in ordering their beautiful dolls please email me and I will send you Brenda Kean’s contact information. They do not have a website where you can order online. These dolls are handmade and are shipped from Kenya. To email me, you can find my address under the Referral Info tab of my blog, or if you click on my profile there is an “email me” button.

Favorite Therapeutic Activities for Children, Adolescents and Families: Practitioners Share their Most Effective Interventions


lowenstein_2006I am always looking for free or low cost resources, as I am a therapist on a budget (and I am sure there are many of you out there like me!). With so much info on the web it’s hard to narrow down what’s good, what’s not, and how I can find the resources I need for my clients without spending a fortune. That’s why I am soooo glad that I was sent this free copy of Favorite Therapeutic Activities for Children, Adolescents and Families: Practitioners Share their Most Effective Interventions, Edited By Liana Lowenstein, MSW, RSW, CPT-S.

This ebook is a compilation of over 100 pages of techniques submitted by multiple therapists. It is divided in to different sections: 1. Engagement and Assessment Interventions, 2. Treatment Interventions, and 3. Termination Interventions. Each intervention lists goals of the intervention, materials, advanced preparation, and detailed instructions. As I read through some of the descriptions, I found them easy to follow and detailed enough that I felt that I could easily follow the intervention. The list of contributors includes 35 different therapists, many of which are authors/presenters themselves. The best part is, that the interventions come from various treatment models, including family, sandtray, and more directive, and also integrative models. I love this, as I pull from various theories myself, and therapists from different backgrounds will all be able to glean from this book due to the wide range of ideas. I recommend this book to any child/adolescent/family therapist looking for creative ideas for their clients, as it is FREE!!! and FULL of creative interventions. What do you have to lose? I will be using this resource for a long time, and can’t wait to try some of the ideas with my clients.


Liana Lowenstein is a presenter and also author of multiple books including:

1. Paper Dolls & Paper Airplanes: Therapeutic Exercises for Sexually Traumatized Children (with Crisci & Lay)

2. Creative Interventions for Troubled Children & Youth

3. Creative Interventions for Children of Divorce.

4. Creative Interventions for Bereaved Children.

5. NEWEST PUBLICATION: Creative Family Therapy Techniques: Play, Art, and Expressive Activities to Engage Children in Family Sessions


She has edited: Volumes One and Two of Assessment and Treatment Activities for Children, Adolescents, and Families: Practitioners Share Their Most Effective Techniques, and will be launching Volume Three this year.


To sign up for the free ebook, visit Liana Lowenstein’s website and sign up for her free monthly newsletter. You can also view her upcoming workshops.

Play Therapy Works!

I stumbled across this video describing the value of play therapy for children who experience emotional and behavioral issues. Check it out, and also check out the Association for Play Therapy website for more info on play therapy and to find a play therapist

I Survived the APT Conference!

I Survived the APT Conference!

I went to the Association for Play Therapy Conference in Atlanta, GA last week. What a blast! I enjoyed several workshops, and lots of toy shopping. I even visited the Self Esteem Shop to find my book, Sam Feels Better Now: An Interactive Story for Children, sitting on the shelf. I met with colleagues, friends, and speakers. It reminded me of what I love about APT and play therapy.

Highlights of the conference included a plenary speaker, Dr. Eliana Gil who shared her journey to play therapy, the new Leadership Academy Graduates, and the presentation of the Key Awards, including, APT Service Award , Lifetime Achievement Award, Professional Education & Training Award , Public Education & Promotion Award, Research Award, and Student Research Award.

This was my first Association for Play Therapy National Conference, and I am looking forward to attending again in the future.

Sam Feels Better Now! To Be Released!

My book, Sam Feels Better Now! An Interactive Story for Children will be released in July 2008. It is illustrated by Kevin Scott Collier, and Published by Loving Healing Press. Therapists will find this a useful tool in therapy with children who are experiencing a crisis, traumatic, or grief situation. This is an interactive picture book for children, ages 4-10. Therapists may use it in office as a series of sessions, or suggest it for parents to use at home with their children to supplement therapy. It provides a step by step foundation for working with children using play, drawing, and other interactive components throughout the story. At the same time, it includes a therapist guide in the back, and resources for further reading. Visit my Writing Page to read more!