When I was young it felt like I lived at the library.
Story time. The anticipation of what might be available to check out. The agony of being put on a wait list for a book you REALLY wanted.
Ahh… such sweet memories. And that shouldn’t surprise you seeing as bibliotherapy is one of my favorite ways to engage in therapy with young people.
So, what does my childhood love for the library have to do with being a Play Therapist?
Well...the library is actually one of the BEST resources for new and seasoned Play Therapists! With a library card you have access to all the free books you could dream of! Well...technically with my library you can check out up to 100 at a time for four weeks.
The last load of books I got there were 4 out of 10 books that I would be interested in using in my Play Therapy practice - and that was without even trying! These books ranged in topics of appropriate social behavior (ahhh hem - The Bear Who Stared), gender fluidity, emotional expression, and generational trauma. Yup - all kids picture books.
The library is a great resource for checking out books to see if they would be worth investing in for your practice and testing out how kids respond to them.
It’s also easy to plan to use the intervention and specific book and activity with all children (where it fits their goals and treatment plan) over the span of several weeks as the book is checked out. If it’s a hit you can consider adding it to your collection OR checking it out from time to time for new young people who can benefit - which is completely free and a great resource for new Play Therapists.
I also love that there are books that I had never heard of and never came up in my searches that are excellent for Play Therapy. And when I say this, I don’t mean it lightly. I spend hours on hours on hours looking for, purchasing, reading, and training on bibliotherapy with children.
Lastly, there is also wisdom in librarians. If you are looking for a specific topic they likely will have one or seventeen books that could fit your need!
Looking for inspiration? Check out these bibliotherapy interventions HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE from Cognitive Behavioral Play Therapy, shifting thoughts, gratitude, and self esteem. You can also get inspired by my list of 70 Books for Emotional Regulation HERE!
Want more? Check out my Bibliotherapy and Play Therapy training HERE!
AND are you a Play Therapists that goes to the library? What books have you found that you use in your Play Therapy practice? Drop a comment and resource below!
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I'm Ann Meehan, an LPCC, RPT-S, and EMDR Consultant. I help other therapists grow in their passions as play therapists, trauma therapists,and child and adolescent therapists.