Learn All About Creative
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.

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


Doll Houses


All Sorts of Toys


Trains, Trucks, Cars, Etc.

Stuffed Animals

Miniature Worlds & More  

Professional therapists 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 over 800 pages of creative ideas on this website.

Let me teach you how to become, or be a better play therapists as I have taught hundreds of graduate students at Mercer University in Atlanta.

Step 1: Preview the site. Check the links below for ideas and see example pages from my play therapy students.

Step 2: Try some of the activities on yourself before trying them on clients, or students.

Step 3: If you still want more check out my eBook on Play Therapy 101 (See Below or on the right hand column). This book is an exact replica of my play therapy lessons and lectures.  Although this is not an actual class, you can follow my "class" step by step at your own pace. 

Play Therapy 101 eBook by Dr. Michelle Stangline

More Information on Creative Play Therapy:

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 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 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 clipart on my website for therapist to use as tools for clients. By using clipart and your computer / printer, you do not have to clutter up your office, or playroom.

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 was 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.

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!

Learn the History of Play Therapy
What is Play Therapy?
What Makes a Good Play Therapist?
How to set up a Play Therapy Room
How to actually do Play Therapy
Advertise Your Play Therapy Practice for Free, Post Your Writings, Share Ideas Here:
See All Examples of Professional Play Therapists Writings and Posts & Play Therapy Graduate Student's Work Here
See More Creative Counseling Ideas Here

Disclaimer: This website and its content is intended for trained licensed mental health professionals and school certified mental health professionals to use for their clients / students at their own discretion.

*If you ignore the disclaimer above are using these techniques on yourself and you feel any discomfort or upset it is highly suggested that you seek out a licensed  mental health professional immediately.

"Beyond Art Therapy" is the concept from Dr. Stangline that combines all creative fields in therapy. It is not the traditional "art therapy" but goes beyond to include sand tray therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, meditation, color therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a vast majority of other therapies.

For any other type of mental health emergency call your local 911 / Police Number immediately.

Dr. Stangline does not offer advice / suggestions to anyone who is not a professional mental health provider, or a student who is studying this field and has questions about mental health programs of study.

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