In my work with children and adolescents with mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and National Certified Counselor (NCC), I have found these ten books to be useful in therapy. I have provided links to these books on Amazon, however I am sure that they can be purchased through Barnes & Noble and other bookstores easily.
1. The Child Psychotherapy Treatment Planner (Practice Planners)
Arthur E. Jongsma, Jr., L. Mark Peterson and Timothy J. Bruce, 2006
Indispensable for creating effective treatment plans, this book contains over 1,000 prewritten treatment goals, objectives, and evidence-based treatment interventions that can be used to address 34 main presenting problems experienced by children.
2. Creative Therapy with Children & Adolescents (Practical Therapist)
Angela Hobday and Kate Ollier, 1999
This great book contains over 100 creative activities that can be used in working with children, adolescents, and families. I use the “My World” activity regularly to build rapport with children when they begin participating in therapy.
3. Creative Interventions for Troubled Children & Youth
Liana Lowenstein, MSW, 1999
Ages 4-16. A collection of creative assessment and treatment techniques that can be used to help children identify feelings, learn coping strategies, enhance social skills, and elevate self-esteem.
4. Creative Interventions for Children of Divorce
Liana Lowenstein, MSW, 2006
This workbook contains numerous creative and play-based activities and parent hand-outs that can be used to help bereaved children express their feelings regarding the death of a family member or friend. It also presents guidelines for clinicians for providing effective grief counseling for children.
5. Books to Grow With: A Guide to Using the Best Children’s Fiction for Everyday Issues and Tough Challenges
Cheryl Coon, 2004
This book is out of print, but can still be purchased online. It is a comprehensive guide to 500 children’s fiction books that portray more than 100 common issues kids face, from bullies, siblings, and fear of the dark to divorce, moving, and chronic illness. If you find fiction books to be helpful when working with children, you will like this guide. It is broken down into topics of social, emotional, and behavioral issues that many children face in their lives.
6. Therapeutic Exercises for Children: Guided Self-Discovery Using Cognitive-
Robert D. Friedberg, Barbara A. Friedberg, and Rebecca J. Friedberg, 2001
Ages 8-11. A companion workbook to the authors’ manual, “Therapeutic Exercises For Children (Professional Guide),” this book provides activities that can be used with the author’s evidence-based cognitive-behavioral program for treating children with anxiety and depression.
7. My Book Full of Feelings: How to Control and React to the Size of Your
Amy Jaffe and Luci Gardner, 2006
This interactive workbook for parents and professionals can be used to help teach children to identify, determine the intensity of, and respond appropriately to their emotions. It uses images of feelings and gradated colors to teach children how to deal effectively with gradated levels of emotions. It covers sad, angry, calm, frustrated, happy, and worried, and can be used with all children, including children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
8. When My Worries Get Too Big! A Relaxation Book for Children Who Live with Anxiety
Kari Dunn Buron, 2006
Ages 5-9. Published by the Autism Asperger Publishing Company, this book has cute illustrations that will help children develop their own self-calming strategies when feeling anxious.
9. Dude, That’s Rude!: (Get Some Manners)
Pamela Espeland and Elizabeth Verdick, 2007
Ages 8 and up. This book teaches social skills in all kinds of situations in a funny and engaging manner. It includes many great topics that can be used to start needed discussions.
10. How to Take the Grrrr Out of Anger
Elizabeth Verdick and Marjorie Lisovskis, 2002
Ages 8 and up. This book teaches children how to recognize and deal with anger that they feel. It includes five steps to taming your temper, six steps to solving anger problems, clues to your “anger buttons,” the lowdown on calming down, tips for using your “anger radar,” things you can do when grown-ups get angry, and more.
Rebecca Williams, MEd, LPC, NCC