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Below is a list of some of my favorite child and family therapy things from 2014. I hope you find this list helpful in your clinical practice!
Favorite Book for Child and Play Therapists:
Play Therapy: A Comprehensive Guide to Theory and Practice Edited by David A. Crenshaw and Anne L. Stewart.
This comprehensive anthology covers the major play therapy approaches, practice guidelines, and research, and is an invaluable resource for beginning and seasoned play therapists.
Favorite Book for Family Therapists:
Play in Family Therapy, Second Edition by Eliana Gil.
This essential text, now completely revised, is a must-have for clinicians seeking ways to engage children in family therapy sessions. This 2nd Edition incorporates 20 years of clinical experience and the ongoing development of Gil's influential integrative approach, and also discusses how current brain research can inform creative interventions.
Favorite Book for Children:
The Dark by Lemony Snickett.
From the best-selling author Lemony Snickett comes a book that takes a unique approach to helping children conquer their fear of the dark. I have read this book to many children in my clinical practice and recommended it to many parents for use at home.
Favorite Psychotherapy Product:
One of the most important skills we can teach our kids is empathy, and this thumball makes the learning fun!
Empathy thumball is available from many retailers, but you can get 15% off from Child Therapy Toys. Simply cite code “Lowenstein” at check out: www.childtherapytoys.com
Favorite Miniature for Sand Play Therapy:
Elf Child on a Swan.
Clients seem to gravitate to this figurine and they send elf on all kinds of adventures! This miniature can be used for sandplay therapy as well as for other therapeutic uses.
See the comprehensive collection of Sand Play materials at www.childtherapytoys.com (Cite Code “Lowenstein” to get 15% off all their amazing products!)
Owlet in Tree Stump (product #3035) by Folkmanis
I love all the puppets by Folkmanis but the Owl in the Tree Stump that launched in July is my number one pick this year because it’s a great therapeutic tool. I especially like to use it in puppet-play to pop him out of the tree stump and offer words of wisdom. And I love its movable head and wings.
Folkmanis has been making the most engaging specialty puppets since 1976, and has won nearly every industry, child development, and kid- tested award - many repeatedly. Therapists get 50% off! View puppets at www.folkmanis.com and call 800-654-8922 to request a free color catalog for therapists.
My Olympics by Robert Jason Grant
Robert Jason Grant has published three books, each packed with creative play-based activities to help children strengthen emotional regulation and social skills. My Olympics is one of my favorites because it’s a fun and engaging way for children to work on staying calm and maintaining focus. This activity is from the book: More Play Based Interventions for Autism, ADHD, Neurodevelopmental Disorders, and Developmental Disabilities.
Touch and Learn Emotions
This is a great app to help children identify facial expressions and strengthen emotional IQ. It’s easy to use and it’s free!
Favorite YouTube Channel:
Association for Play Therapy: https://www.youtube.com/user/Assn4PlayTherapy
The Association for Play Therapy YouTube channel offers a series called History Speaks, a collection of interviews with many of the leading play therapists of our time. I love watching these interviews, but I chose this YouTube channel as my favorite this year because of the newly launched video called Andrew, about the benefits of Play Therapy. Plus there’s a Spanish version.
This ultimate website for mental health professionals includes blogs, psychpedia A-Z, lists of associations and relevant magazines, and more!
Lori Lite: @stressfreekids
Lori Lite gets my pick for the best Tweeter of 2014 because her tweets offer practical strategies for helping children to manage stress, reduce anxiety, and enhance self-esteem. She knows how to engage her followers and she tweets relevant content.
Tana Adams: http://www.pinterest.com/tanaadm/
If you’re looking for ideas to enhance your clinical practice, Tana Adams is a must-follow pinner on Pinterest. Her boards are packed with great ideas including techniques, videos, and resources.
Person of the Year
Paris Goodyear-Brown, LCSW, RPT-S
Paris Goodyear-Brown is a Play Therapist in Franklin, Tennessee. This year, she piloted Camp Nurture, an intensive therapeutic day camp for highly dysregulated adoptive children and their parents, while simultaneously opening a new treatment center, Nurture House, to support families in distress. I chose Paris as the Person of the Year for her innovative and tireless work with traumatized children and their families. She is a true inspiration to mental health professionals!
Most Favorite Thing 2014:
My desktop computer died a few months ago. The hard drive failed and the computer would not turn on. Luckily I have Dropbox so I was able to access from my laptop all my documents, photos, videos, etc. Dropbox, I LOVE you!
To see my list of Favorite Psychotherapy Things