Play Therapy

If you are interested in learning more about working with kids and teens, check out the following organizations for support and training: Association for Play Therapy and The Theraplay Institute

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play therapy

When Pixies Come Out to Play is the work of a true master of the craft of sandplay therapy informed by Jungian theory and the pioneering work of Dora Kallf with whom Lois Carey studied. Woven into the exquisite tapestry of this lovely book is history and theory of the method, rich case material told in a warm and moving voice which reflects the extraordinary empathy of this remarkable sandplay and play therapist . . . A wealth of information packed into a highly readable book that just like the author herself will be a cherished gift to us all for a long time to come. —David A. Crenshaw, Ph.D., ABPP, RPT-S Clinical Director




play therapy

Play Therapy with Families: A Collaborative Approach to Healingedited by Nancy Riedel Bowers Ph.D

Play Therapy and Families: A Collaborative Approach to Healing provides a thorough description of play from prominent academics, researchers, and relevant writers who review it historically. It contains a unique approach for helping families, outlining an in-depth review of play and its relevancy to healing for children and families, putting forth a brand new Collaborative Play Therapy Model. The application to healing and psychotherapy follows, outlining the directive and non-directive orientations to healing, models that are current in the literature, and selected family-based play therapy models.




Dibs in Search of Self: The Renowned, Deeply Moving Story of an Emotionally Lost Child Who Found His Way Backby Virginia M. Axline

The classic of child therapy. Dibs will not talk. He will not play. He has locked himself in a very special prison. And he is alone. This is the true story of how he learned to reach out for the sunshine, for life . . . how he came to the breathless discovery of himself that brought him back to the world of other children.







If you know of another book that belongs on this list let us know here or tell us about it in the comments. Make sure you’re also following The Therapist’s Bookshelf on Facebook and Instagram.

Many therapists enjoy recommending books to their clients to supplement the work they are doing together. We also use books to help ourselves grow as people and practitioners. Remember though that books are never a replacement for real human connection, for supervision and continuing education, or for therapy when it’s needed. If you find yourself needing a therapist, a great place to start is Psychology Today. If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.


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