Play Therapy Mini- Resource Library

I love doing play therapy! In looking for TF-CBT play therapy techniques I came across quite a few resources in my hunt to make a list and so I have decided to include what I found here. If you have others- PLEASE PLEASE SHARE!! I apologize for the format…someday I will get around to putting it together in a eye pleasing way!!

From Playful Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy With Traumatized Children  by A. Cavett:

Caterpillar to Butterfly:

This is an art/play project created by the child and parent. A caterpillar is created by the parent and child in the session with pipe cleaners and other art supplies. They also use foam sheets, markers and pipe cleaners to create butterflies. They list several (i.e., four) problems/symptoms that they would like to address in therapy. After the caterpillar and butterfly are created, several (i.e., four) problems/symptoms are listed under the title caterpillar and the corresponding goals are listed below the title butterfly.

Me and My Mom– could not find

4 Square Breathing– The child draws a square and labels the corners 1. Breathe in, 2. Hold it, 3. Breathe out, and 4. Do nothing. The therapist also discusses, at the developmentally-appropriate level for that child, a square has four sides and each step can be done for four seconds each and practiced four times a day.

Superhero/ Bear or Robot/Ragdoll or TinMan/ Ragdoll or Spaghetti Technique– basic idea is get child to be rigid (like a superhero, robot, or tine man) and then do PMR and make body or body parts limp like a stuffed bear, ragdoll, or spaghetti noodle. (With children with ADHD I have done this to help them with body awareness and to learn when to stand like a robot like in line at the bathroom and ragdoll when they are outside to play)

Feelings Tic Tac Toe– can be done with a poster too…

  1. Arrange nine of the feelings on a tic tac toe board.
  2. While playing tic tac toe, as you mark the square with an X or O you tell of a time when you experienced that particular feeling.
  3. The first to get three in a row wins.

Mood Manicure– the child to pick colors of fingernail polish to represent different moods which are discussed as the therapist paints the child’s nails.

Mad Maracas- could not find

Parachute Feelings-Ometer-could not find

Anger Menu– found on pg 45 of

How I Think, Feel, and Behave– found in powerpoint here:

Acting on my feelings– could not find

Guilt Trip Game- could not find

The Who, What, Where, When game– could not find

Twisted Thinking– could not find

Thinking Caps– could not find

Erase the Place– could not find

How my body reacted– found at

as well as: The feel better bag, People in my world, My special person’s death: the dice game, Feeling sad tissue activity, Making tear soup, Getting rid of guilt, Memory tape, My wish for you

Other techniques mentioned:

SUDS with orange cones, Role Play, Megaphone, Art project, Finger puppets, Dollhouse, 101 Dalmatians/triggers exercise (see article), Meebie

Other play therapy techniques found in

Revealing your feelings, Feelings hide and seek, Bubble Wrap, Positive and negative thinking, Don’t Lose your marbles

Farwell Fortune Cookies

More play therapy techniques found in

Butterflies in my Stomach, Sticky Dots (Similar to I think, Feel, Behave), People in my World, Boat, Storm, Light House

Ice Breaker found at

More Therapeutic Activities (may not all be play):

15 play therapy activities:

Feeling Word Game, Color Your Life, Pick Up Sticks, Balloons of Anger, The Mad Game, Beat the Clock, Bubble Breaths, Slow Motion, Worry Can, Party Hats on Monsters, Weights and Balloons, Power Animals, Symbolic Client, Broadcast News, The Spy and the Sneak

Good Book with Play Activities:


3 thoughts on “Play Therapy Mini- Resource Library

  1. Pingback: Free CEU’s: Trauma Focused CBT (TF-CBT) | Flourish n Thrive Counseling

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