Rhinebeck Child and Family Center, LLC            

Child Therapy Techniques - The Center for Practical Tools for Child and Adolescent Therapists

Dr. David A. Crenshaw, Director  

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Dr. Crenshaw is the proud recipient of The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hudson Valley Psychological Association.

Dr. Crenshaw is co-editing a series of books for Guilford.  Please click here for his Guilford books and ordering information.

 Rosie, first NY trial dog and what you can do to support Rosie's Law

"Heartfelt Feelings" Coloring Cards

Certified translations in 8 languages

Find out about Dr. Crenshaw and his books at Amazon Author Page

20% discount Code # 4W9CAPBK. Click for details and to order.

in print and e-book. Click to order with 20% discount Code 2E.

Dr. Crenshaw's latest books

Save 20% with Promotion Code 2E

Click here to order from Guilford

  Click here to order from Guilford

Dr. Crenshaw's book Bereavement: Counseling the Grieving throughout the Life Cycle is so successful that it is now in its third printing and earned an average customer rating of 4.0 out of 5 starsfrom Amazon.com      

Read Dr. Crenshaw's articles in Play Therapy magazine by clicking on title: "Should I Be Worried?"  "Selective Mutism" "Preverbal Trauma" "No Time or Place for Child's Play" "Sounds of Silence" "Symbolism of Windows and Doors in Play Therapy" "The Wonder of It All" "Rosie Goes to Court"  "Secrets Told to Ivy"  with permission of Play Therapy Magazine.  

Two New Poetry Books By David A. Crenshaw (click on titles for details)       The Vision of the Heart  and A Place of Healing and Hope

Books below are available in paperback at 20% discount. To order click on the book images below or simply call 1-800-462-6420.  Code # 4W9CAPBK.  If you want to read reviews first, click on book title under the book image.

Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy: Wounded Spirits and Healing Paths,

Therapeutic Engagement of Children and Adolescents

Understanding and Treating the Aggression of Children: Fawns in Gorilla Suits

Understanding and Treating Aggressive Children: Fawns in Gorilla Suits

Handbook of Play Therapy with Aggressive Children


Evocative Strategies in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

Presentations- Including Upcoming
Testimonials from Presentations
Dr. Crenshaw's Publications
DVD on Grief
...Heart Symbol Strategies
...Heartfelt Feelings Coloring Card Kit
...Party Hats on Monsters
...Anger Modulation Drawings
...The Ship Prepares for Voyage
...The Magic Key
...The Fair Trial
...The Tree at the Top of the Hill
...Falling Leaves
...Holiday Writing Exercises
...Three Doors
Articles for Parents and Teachers
Article: Empathic Healer
Article: The Fawns beneath the Gorilla Suits
Article: The Hidden Dimensions
Article: Sounds of Children's Silence
Article: Windows to the Child�s Soul
Article: Selective Mutism
Article: Sealing off the Fountain
Article: by Liana Lowenstein, MSW
Article: Rosie the Golden Retriever
Poetry... Musings of the Soul
...Multicultural Language of Healing a Child
...Poetry Book-The Vision of the Heart
...Poetry Book-A Place of Healing and Hope
Tribute to Survivors of Domestic Violence
"My Wish for Children"
YouTube Videos
About Dr. Crenshaw

Mailing Address

David A. Crenshaw, Ph.D., ABPP 205 Dogwood Court Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Phone:  (845) 489-8661

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Copyright � 2004-2015 by David A. Crenshaw, Ph.D., ABPP. All rights reserved.

Handbook of Play Therapy with Aggressive Children

by Dr. David Crenshaw and Dr. John Mordock

published by Jason Aronson

Links to order book are at bottom of page.

Handbook of Play Therapy with Aggressive Children is the most comprehensive and detailed compilation of specific and practical techniques available for child and play therapists to draw on in the treatment of aggressive children. Written by two authors with a combined experience of over 50 years in the residential treatment of severely aggressive and often traumatized children. The book will be invaluable to new as well as seasoned child practitioners because of the immense range of the interventions and the clear theoretical rationale that guides the use of these interventions. The chapters comprehensively cover the nuts and bolts of play therapy with this extremely challenging and taxing clinical population, including the therapeutic alliance, aims of play therapy with aggressive children, setting limits on destructive, and obtrusive behaviors, typical play themes of aggressive children, developing distancing and displacement through playful actions and through teaching, modeling, and structuring action play. Other chapters cover: creating more mature defenses and calming strategies, the role of interpretation, elementary and advanced concepts; spontaneous drawings as a bridge to fantasy play, specific drawing techniques to create access to the inner world of children, teaching and modeling pro-social skills with special emphasis on empathy, teaching the language of feelings, facilitating affect expression and modulation, facilitating contained re-enactment of trauma, help children to mourn tangible as well as intangible, unacknowledged and invisible losses. Later chapters cover: the therapeutic process and techniques to facilitate termination. The authors introduce the Play Therapy Decision Grid in Chapter 5, which is a creative and original way to guide the therapist into the levels of therapy best suited for the child at any given point based on the child's resources and the anxiety engendered by the therapy. The authors describe two fluid and dynamic tracks consisting of the Coping and Invitational Tracks of therapy with the flexibility to shift within as well as across.



"A treasure chest of ideas for healing the psychic wounds of aggressive, latency-age children. Highly recommended."

Charles E. Schaefer, Ph.D., Director Emeritus, Association For Play Therapy

"This handbook presents us with a treasure trove, not only of compassionate and sensitive insights into the inner life of abused, highly disturbed children but also of a plethora of specific tools to help violent children. The book belongs on the shelf of any therapist who is deeply committed to helping heal children with severe aggression problems. Many of the ideas will serve as useful strategies for those of us who work with worried or angry children who have less severe traumas but who still need us to help them forge more effective defenses and to learn more self-calming and more reflective techniques in managing their troubles."

Alice Sterling Hoenig, Professor, Syracuse University, PsycCRITIQUES: The American Psychological Association Review of Books


�Every page in this book is a testament to the enormous experience these two authors have in the treatment of aggressive children in residential settings. They call these children �fauns in gorilla suits�, which is in line with their client-centered, more humanistic approach. All aspects of play therapy are covered chapter by chapter and numerous examples are provided about what one might say to a child at the various difficult moments, dividing interpretations as empathic or dynamic. They helpfully discuss how to set boundaries throughout the different phases of therapy and present a helpful array of activities around behaviors and feelings.�


Dr. Joost Drost,  Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 79, No. 2 (2006): 304.


Dr. David Crenshaw and Dr. John Mordock have written an extremely informative handbook for child and play therapists where anger and aggression are the major presenting problems.  As therapists, we are seeing more and more children where these dynamics exist. This book is filled with practical case examples that directly address therapeutic interactions with these children that the authors have termed 'fawns in gorilla suits.' I particularly liked the examples of what to say and what not to say in certain tense situations.  These authors are obviously two very gifted, sensitive clinicians who offer many years of experience to therapists who are confronted with the aggressive child.  I was also impressed with the careful attention paid to the importance of whether the child was in the 'coping' stage, or the 'invitational' stage of therapy � a most important distinction that these authors handled superbly.  In the coping stage, there is a primary reliance on the use of metaphor, after which the 'invitational' stage can be implemented and direct interpretations become possible and advisable.  In addition, there are numerous techniques described and illustrated that range from art examples to clay to games that all therapists can add to their repertoire. This book is a definite �must� for all clinicians who work with the aggressive child."

Lois Carey, MSW, BCD, RPT-S; Past President, New York Association for Play Therapy

"This comprehensive guide is unique for its thorough coverage and understanding of aggressive and violent children. Play therapists and child therapists are helped through all the stages of treatment along with practical techniques and concrete examples of child-therapist dialogue. It contains a detailed outline for working with a difficult population. The authors cover setting up the therapeutic alliance, understanding defenses, limit setting, as well as play themes and practical techniques, which are all clearly illustrated with visuals and helpful case examples. A 'must have' addition to any professional or personal library."

Athena A. Drewes, Psy.D., RPT-S, Director of Clinical Training, The Astor Home for Children, and APT Board of Directors

To Order

To Order from the publisher at 20% discount, click here

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or if you prefer placing a phone order, call 1-800-462-6420 and provide the same code.