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.

The Magic Key



One of the Projective Drawing Strategies developed by Dr Crenshaw is The Magic Key (Crenshaw, 2004, Crenshaw & Mordock, 2005).

The therapist gives the following instructions to the child:

Imagine that you have been given a magic key that opens one room in a huge castle. There are four floors in the castle and since the castle is huge there are many rooms on each floor, but your magic key only opens one of the many, many rooms in the castle. So pretend you go from room to room, and from floor to floor, trying your magic key in each door until you finally come to the door that your key opens. You turn the key and the lock opens. Because this is a magic key that only opens this door, what you see is the one thing that has always been missing from your life�the one thing you always believed would make you happy.  Pretend that you are looking into the room. What is it that you see? What is that one thing that has been missing that you always believed would make you happy? When you have a clear picture, please draw it as best you can.

Not surprising in this highly consumer oriented culture, is that children often draw a big screen or flat panel TV. Some children, however, draw the missing or deceased parent, a safe home they never experienced, or a family where the parents don�t argue so often. They draw a home they always longed for, one which is sadly missing in their lives. This projective drawing strategy can be very useful with children whose lives are replete with loss. Many severely aggressive children have suffered profound, multiple losses. When we dare to see what there is to see, when we are receptive to hear what there is to be heard, underneath the gorilla suit (aggressive acting-out) we will often findnot simply a �bad kid� but a vulnerable, in many cases, traumatized child (Crenshaw & Hardy, in press).

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


Crenshaw, D. A. (2004). Engaging resistant children in therapy: Projective drawing and storytelling strategies, in The Child and Family Therapy Guidebook Series, Volume One, J. B. Mordock, (Ed.). Rhinebeck: NY: Rhinebeck Child and Family Center Publications.

Crenshaw, D. A. & J.B. Mordock (2005). Handbook of play therapy with aggressive children. New York: Jason Aronson (An imprint of Rowland & Littlefield Publishing Co).

Crenshaw, D. A. & Hardy. K. V. (in press). Fawns in gorilla suits: Understanding and treating the aggression and violence of traumatized children in child welfare. In N. W. Boyd (Ed.), Helping traumatized children and youth in child welfare: Perspectives of mental health and children�s services practitioners. New York: Guildford Press.