Creative Family Therapy Techniques: Play, Art, and Expressive Activities to Engage Children in Family Sessions

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Children are often excluded from family therapy because many practitioners are at a loss of how to effectively engage them. The use of play and expressive arts activities in therapy facilitates the participation of all family members, and provides an innovative way to help families resolve complex problems.

In Creative Family Therapy Techniques, practitioners from around the world share their favorite activities including therapeutic games, art, puppets, sandtray, stories, phototherapy, and psychodrama. These groundbreaking interventions will equip beginning and seasoned clinicians with tools and techniques to make family therapy sessions fun and effective.

Divided into helpful sections, topics include:
• Essential skills in family therapy
• Techniques to join with each family member
• Family assessment activities
• Creative therapies to treat a wide range of family challenges
• And more!

This useful and practical resource provides a wealth of interventions to address a variety of issues that families may present with, such as child/parent conflicts, abuse, domestic violence, divorce, death and loss, alcohol abuse, adoption, eating disorders, depression, gender and sexuality.

See Liana Lowenstein’s other books, which present more engaging and practical techniques.


Engaging children in the therapy process is often one of the most challenging tasks of the family therapist. Liana Lowenstein has edited a wonderful compendium of helpful family therapy interventions, activities, and techniques for use with children. Drawn from the experiences of in-the-trenches therapists, and unlike most books on family therapy, this book will be immediately useful for all levels of practicing family therapists. —-Terry S. Trepper, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Purdue University Calumet, Editor, Journal of Family Psychotherapy

This comprehensive collection contains a wealth of innovative ideas for involving children in family therapy sessions. The techniques are easy to understand and readily implemented in a variety of settings. The interventions are classified into sections so therapists can easily select and apply them. A valuable resource for mental health professionals who work with families. —-Charles E. Schaefer, PhD, RPT-S, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ, Co-Editor, Family Play Therapy

Lowenstein’s book is an exceptional tool for both the experienced family therapist as well as the newly licensed practitioner. A clear and concise introduction to family therapy precedes dozens of creative family therapy techniques thoroughly described by some of the most seasoned family therapists. This resource should be an essential part of every practitioner’s library. —-Gregory K. Moffatt, PhD Psychologist, Atlanta, GA, Author, A Violent Heart

About the Author:

Liana Lowenstein is a Clinical Social Worker, Certified Play Therapist-Supervisor, and Certified TF-CBT Therapist who is known internationally for her best-selling books including: Creative Interventions for Troubled Children & Youth (1999); Creative Interventions for Children of Divorce (2006a); Creative Interventions for Bereaved Children (2006b); Cory Helps Kids Cope with Sexual Abuse (2014); and Creative CBT Interventions for Children with Anxiety (2016). She has also edited three volumes of the book, Assessment and Treatment Activities for Children, Adolescents, and Families: Practitioners Share Their Most Effective Techniques. She presents trainings across North America and abroad and provides consultation to therapists worldwide. She has been working with children and families since 1988 and continues to maintain a private practice in Toronto. Liana is winner of the Monica Herbert award for outstanding contribution to play therapy in Canada.


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