The Therapist's Notebook for Children and Adolescents: Homework, Handouts, and Activities for Use in Psychotherapy, 2nd Edition (e-Book) book cover

The Therapist's Notebook for Children and Adolescents

Homework, Handouts, and Activities for Use in Psychotherapy, 2nd Edition

Edited by Catherine Ford Sori, Lorna Hecker, Molli E. Bachenberg


362 pages

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In The Therapist's Notebook for Children and Adolescents, 2nd ed, you'll find the most powerful tools available for aiding children with their feelings, incorporating play techniques into therapy, encouraging appropriate parental involvement in family sessions, and providing group therapy to children. This ready reference is divided into ten thoughtfully planned sections to make it easy to find the right activity, handout, or intervention for the problem at hand, whether you’re looking for creative ideas, running a children’s group, putting interventions into practice in the classroom, or looking for ways to increase parental and familial involvement. Instructions for the activities are clearly explained and highlighted with case examples and many illustrations. Chapters are by leading experts, including Eliana Gil, Risë VanFleet, Liana Lowenstein, Howard Rosenthal, and Volker Thomas, and explore strategies for treating children both individually and in a family context. With more than 60% new material, this expanded version delves into the latest research and thinking on family play therapy and addresses many pertinent issues of our time, including bullying, suicidal ideation, ADHD, autism, adolescents and sex, and cultural issues. It’s a must-have arsenal for both novice and experienced professionals in family therapy, play therapy, psychology, psychiatry, counseling, education, nursing, and related fields.


"Remarkable for its breadth and depth, The Therapist’s Notebook for Children and Adolescents, 2nd edition, is the indispensable reference for play and expressive child and family therapies. Sori, Hecker, and Bachenberg offer a treasure trove of play strategies for virtually any child and adolescent issue. The second edition is mostly new and thoroughly updated. The strategies can be adapted to most theoretical orientations and all are practical and field tested. If I had to choose one book for my play therapy and family therapy libraries, this would be it!"

—Douglas H. Sprenkle, PhD, professor emeritus of marriage and family therapy, Purdue University

"The Therapist’s Notebook for Children and Adolescents, 2nd edition, contains a potpourri of innovative techniques and strategies for conducting individual, family, and group psychotherapy. The notebook is transtheoretical in nature, so it will appeal to therapists from diverse orientations and disciplines who wish to broaden and strengthen their knowledge and skills. Highly recommended!"

—Charles E. Schaefer, PhD, RPT-S, professor emeritus of psychology, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and cofounder and director emeritus of the Association for Play Therapy

"In the updated edition of this classic book, Sori and colleagues once again have pulled together a treasure chest full of innovative and inspired ideas to treat children and families. This book will spark readers’ creativity and is an absolute must have for practitioners and for training programs in counseling, play therapy, and family therapy. Chapters illustrate playful ways to engage children and families in the therapeutic process, and they also address many serious issues facing today’s youths and families. This book is resplendent with field-tested ideas written by some of the masters in the fields of family therapy and play therapy. A brilliant book to refer to whenever you need information and inspiration!"

—Jon Carlson, PsyD, EdD, distinguished professor of Adlerian psychology, Adler University

"The second edition of The Therapist’s Notebook for Children and Adolescents definitely exceeds the first. It is an exceptional guide for working with children. I strongly recommend it for those who work with children and adolescents and believe it should be required reading in all clinical training programs."

—Joseph L. Wetchler, PhD, professor of marriage and family therapy at Purdue University Calumet and coeditor of An Introduction to Marriage and Family Therapy, 2nd edition

"In this second edition of The Therapist's Notebook for Children and Adolescents there is a rich wealth of tools for enabling children and young people to explore and express their feeligns using play and creative mediums… One of the main strengths of this book is its accesibility. The very clear structure and layout make it straightforward to dip in to for ideas, guidances, strategies and techniques for a wide range of issues… As the chapters are written by authors from different theoretical orientations, the reader gains a flavour of the specific theory each is anchored in… I would therefore recommend the book to all play therapists as a valuable reference point and for inspiration. Even those who are more non-directive will find new insights and fresh stimulation for their creativity and practise."

-Helen Gedge, Liverpool, British Association of Play Therapy

Table of Contents

Foreword Gil Preface Therapist's Attitudes about Play Sori I. The Role and Use of Play in Child and Family Therapy 1. Explainign the Use of Play to Parents Wark 2. Tell Me All about it: Using Objects as Metaphors Franklin 3. Individual and Family Play Genogram Gil 4. Using hte Family Puppet Interview in Assessment and Goal Setting Sori 5. Using Puppet Play to Open Communication with Children and Families Sori and Nickell 6. The Family Video Game Lucas, Darragh, Foster, and Brozovic 7. Family Card Game Lowenstein II. Working with Children's Emotions 8. Soaring above Stress: Using Relaxation, Visualization, and Music with Anxious and ADHD Children Sori and Biank 9. Anger Collage Hertlein and Huene 10. Deflating Fear Sori and Biank 11. Feeling Faces Prevent Scary Places Biank and Sori 12.Pie Scapes: Exploring Children's Thoughts and Feelings Sori and Biank III. Strengthening Attachment Bonds 13. Stengthening Parent-Child Attachment with Play: Filial Therapy VanFleet 14. Family Sandplay: Strengthening the Parent-Child Relationship Pettigrew, Raimondi, and McWey 15. Linked-In: Strengthening Parent-Child Relationships Ciesla, Popp, and Bunn IV. Specific Childhood Problems 16. Overcoming Bullying: Finding Inner Resources through the Circle of Strength Beebe and Robey 17. One Thing Leads to Another: The Domino Effect with Impulsive, ADHD, or ODD Teens Foraker-Koons and Sori 18. Getting to Know Families and Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders Brockman 19. Using Children's Books in Family Therapy Wark, Szekely, and Abrahamson V. Trauma and Suicidal Ideation 20. Animal-Assisted Therapy for Sexually Abused Children Reichert, Bermel, and Sori 21. Children Experiencing Trauma, PTSD, or Anxiety: Using Worry Rocks Lorelle 22. Creating a Safe Space for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma Maier and Thomas 23. Suicidal Ideation: Rediscovering Our Treasures Randick VI. Adolescents, Culture, and Special Topics 24. KidsRap: Using Hip-Hop to Promote and Punctuate Change Sori 25. Biracial Storyboards Hubbard 26. Fatherloss: Three Interventions for Working with African American Adolescent Males Morris and Sori 27. Transgenerational "Tableros:" an Activity for Working with Latino American Adolescents and Their Families Sanchez 28. Family Timelines Mural Drawing with Asian American Familes Miyakuni and Sori 29. The Use of the Culture Play Genorgram Gil 30. Talking about Sex with Adolescents and Parents Bachenberg and Dermer 31. RIVVS: Talking about Sex through Images Boender and Thraen 32. Amplifying the Voice of Youth: The Partners for Change Outcome Management Systems Duncan and Sparks 33. The Goat Story: The Royal Road from the Waiting Room to the Counseling Couch Rosenthal VII. Illness and Bereavement 34. Tips for Parents When There Is Illness in the Family Biank and Sori 35. "Grieving in the Sand:" Integrating Sandtray with Reality Therapy to Help Children through the Grieving Process Robey and Sori 36. A Child's Impossible and Scariest Task Biank and Sori 37. Talking to Children about Death Sori and Biank VIII. Specific Approaches and Interventions 38. Playful Pooches: Using Canine Interactions to Enhance Therapeutic Outcomes for Children and Adolescents VanFleet 39. Solution Circles: A Solution-Focused, Expressive Technique Gil 40. Writing Therapeutic Notes to Young Persons Pare 41. The Use of Consultants in Play Therapy: Narractive Practices with Young Children Scholtes and Sori 42. Sculpting Narratives: Experiencing Positive Narratives in Therapy Watson IX. Counseling in Schools, Groups, and Clinical Settings 43. Spin-Me-A-Yarn: Breaking the Ice and Warming the Heart Sori and Biank 44. Creating Connections: Using Art in School Counseling Randick and Gardner 45. The "Art" of Art Therapy with Adolescents Randick 46. Crisis Recover in the Schools Michel 47. Learning and School-Related Problems in Childhood Sholtes and Boender X. Tools for Parents and Clincians 48. A Guide to Making Pupperts without Breaking the Bank Foraker-Koons and Sori 49. Movies and Emotion Coaching Parenting Dermer, Dunham, and Sori 50. Helping Parents Use the Time Out Procedure Hecker and Sori 51. The Parents' Guide to Good Divorce Behavior Hecker and Sori 52. Ten Commandments for Step Families Sori and Hecker

About the Editors

Catherine Ford Sori, PhD, LMFT, is professor in the division of psychology and counseling at Governors State University, where she is also leader of the marriage and family track. She has won numerous faculty excellence awards, and is the mental health consultant for the Early Head Start Program at the Family Development Center. Dr. Sori is also associate faculty at the Chicago Center for Family Health, an affiliate of the University of Chicago. She is a clinical fellow and AAMFT-approved supervisor, and is a member of APT and ACA.

Lorna L. Hecker, PhD, is faculty in the marriage and family therapy program in the department of behavioral sciences at Purdue University–Calumet in Hammond, Indiana. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified in healthcare privacy and security (CHPS) and a clinical fellow and AAMFT-approved supervisor. She is also the director of the Purdue University Calumet Couple and Family Therapy Center.

Molli E. Bachenberg, MA, NCC, is assistant professor at Florida Gulf Coast University. Her areas of research and specialty include addressing sexual issues in training and counseling, and using playful techniques when working with adolescents and children, especially in sex-related topics.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Life Stages / Adolescence
FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Divorce & Separation
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health