Learn Play Therapy Techniques

Using Creative Counseling 101 Methods

If you are working with children you need to be trained in the art of Play Therapy!

The creative play therapist, counselor, or psychotherapist uses play therapy in an eclectic way. They do not put themselves into one school of play therapy therapeutic thought, but take bits and pieces of many schools of therapy.

The client dictates where they need to go in play therapy. The creative play therapist has the knowledge and the tools to take them there.

play therapy house tree person

Many of the tools used in creative play therapy include the following:

The licensed professional will find many free creative techniques on this website.

Many of the tools used in creative play are the doll house, art counseling, puppets, games, and bibliotherapy. The licensed professional will find many free creative techniques on this website.

If the creative therapist does not have the understanding or training for where the client needs to go they seek the proper training and supervision. This is all for the benefit of the client and desire to help clients reach their full potential.

I find that being creative is the most helpful aspect in my growth as a psychotherapist. This website is a conglomeration of my journey as a creative seeker of knowledge in the field of psychotherapy, art, travel and life.

My journey and training has given me many tools in order to better serve my clients and counseling students. I want to pass this on to new counselors, or counselors seeking training in Creative Counseling.

When I was working as a college professor helping to prepare Master’s Level Counseling interns go through their internship period, I found that they did not understand how to work with children.

They only had the tools to apply “talk therapy” to the child's counseling session. I also found they did not know how to work creatively with adolescents, teens, or adults.

Creative Counseling 101 was created to help counselors and other mental health professionals learn and apply new ways of creativity to their own practice.

Many universities do not offer any training to counseling students in the area of Creative Arts and Play. I was lucky that two of my universities in which I worked as an adjunct allowed me to bring my own unique style of creative therapy to counseling graduate students.

I strongly believe that every counseling student needs to have some formal training in the area of creative play and arts. I also know that when we learn how to work with children on their level it also teaches us how to work more creatively with adults.

Many adults need more than the “here and now” and must go back to their wounded inner child and heal the past. Adults do well with adult play and creative counseling. They enjoy utilizing creativity in their therapy sessions with a trained therapist.

Most of my work with adults is based on a modified creative play curriculum. Creative therapy helps clients learn to apply creativity to the healing process. Therefore, they get more from the therapeutic process.

Any licensed psychotherapist can do what we call “talk therapy”. But talk is sometimes cheap and talk therapy does not always take a lot of training. Years ago, in my own analysis during graduate school I remember needing more than “talk therapy” from my counselor.

While searching for a more creative and deeper awareness in therapy I found myself thinking, “Is that all you’ve got? Give me more than that! I need to process on a deeper level!”

Sadly enough, my personal counselor(s) could not take me where I needed to go to a deeper level. It takes a creative counselor or psychotherapist, one with training and a natural instinct, to really help clients reach a deeper level of self-awareness.

All of the activities in this website have been successfully completed with children, adolescents, teens, and adults. The activities are very visual in nature. Using these activities allow the client to go to the deepest part of the brain (See Reptile Brain Dysfunction: A Free Counseling Technique for more information).

Creative play therapy helps client’s visualize their issues, confront themselves, and find better working solutions to these issues. These techniques and activities are excellent for play therapy for children, adolescents, and adults.

Creative Counseling 101 is a basic tool to help the beginning counselor understand and utilize the creative counseling and play therapy. It is also useful for the seasoned counselor who might have a client that is stuck, or needs to process on a deeper level.

The activities are easy to use and materials can be purchased cheaply. I do not spend a lot of money on tools for clients. I believe the best tools are homemade or very inexpensive. You will see many items you can make for your clients on this site. These items are often made from recycled materials and barely cost any money.

Creativity is the key to making creative tools in psychotherapy for all your clients. I offer free clip art on my website for therapist to use as tools for clients. By using clip art and your computer / printer, you do not have to clutter up your office or play room. The therapist can also find the perfect miniature for the client using this method. One no longer has to collect thousands of miniatures in hope that one of these miniatures will benefit a client for an activity.

With creative counseling the client can also gain more visual understanding about themselves by completing the activities. The free play therapy activities can be used for individual or group work.

I wish I had found a tool similar to Creative Counseling 101 play therapy when I was a new counselor. My first job as a counselor was working in a mental institution. As I reflect back on my work with this population I find that I am saddened by the fact that they never got a chance to do any of these activities to help them on their difficult journey.

I believe that the activities on this site would have promoted healing and hope to so many of my clients who were suffering from mental illness in the mental institution.

For those people not suffering from a mental illness try Creative Counseling 101 play therapy. It can be used for the “healthier” client, or for individuals who want to learn how to be more creative and find solutions to problems in everyday life.

The creative counseling play therapist will also have fun doing these activities by themselves before using them on their clients (This is highly recommended, as I believe a therapist should always use a tool on themselves before using it on a client.)

The child play therapy activities are tried and true and have been used for many years in the school and private counseling setting. They work in the “counseling arena” for the private practice psychotherapist and the school counselor. These activities can also be modified for use in the school setting for shorter groups and individual sessions.

Creative Counseling 101 play therapy can also be used in to the therapeutic and clinical side of counseling. Many extensions have been added to the activities for those on the clinical side of counseling for that therapist wishing to give their adult clients a richer experience by adding adult play therapy to their sessions.

I truly hope that Creative Counseling 101 can open the creative doors for your practice with clients!




Play Therapy to What Is Play Therapy?

Play Therapy to The History of Play Therapy

Play Therapy to What Makes A Good Play Therapist?

Play Therapy to The Play Therapy Room

Play Therapy to Play Therapy Resources

Play Therapy to How to do Play Therapy

Play Therapy to Creative Counseling - Home

Play Therapy to Teddy Bear Therapy

Play Therapy to Play Therapy Chess Game

Play Therapy to Cereal Box Theater

Play Therapy to Teddy Bear Therapy Tea

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Learn how to be a more Creative Counselor or Therapist with the Book that started it all!

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Winner of the Counselor Writer of the Year Award, 2011, Gwinnett County Public Schools and Georgia Regional Award

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This ebook includes 252 pages of step by step group therapy ideas for school counselors and professional therapists.

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The Creative Sand Tray Therapy 101 eBook

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Learn about the creative sand tray therapy process. This is an exact replica of the graduate sand tray therapy class I teach at a major university in Atlanta. You get 147 pages of creative ways to do sand tray therapy. Also included are colorful, reproducible worksheets for your clients to use and take home.

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Sand Tray Therapy eBook Information and Order Form

Creative Play Therapy 101 eBook

play therapy e book and play therapy class

You can now learn everything I teach to graduate counseling students with this Creative Play Therapy eBook. The eBook has 25 sessions (181 pages) with step by step colored lesson plans and reproducible worksheets. Learn how to use the play therapy doll house, puppets, miniatures, miniature worlds, the sand tray, and more! If you work with children or teens then this book is a must have item for your practice.


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More Information for the Play Therapy eBook & Order Form

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Custom crafted and hand painted traditional 'regulation sized' sand trays for sand tray therapy for sale, now with a free "Sand Tray Therapy 101" eBook. Each tray is handcrafted by a master woodworker. You get to chose from a selection of colors to customize your tray. It is then painted and stained in the traditional method of the regulation sand tray recommended by Dora Kalff. Matching Sand Tray lids and stands are also available. Click the link below for more information:

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