Interview With Jane Annunziata About A Child's First Book About Play Therapy

In this video author Jane Annunziata talks about her book, A Child's First Book About Play Therapy. (3 minutes, 43 seconds)


Interviewer [female voice]: Why did you write A Child's First Book About Play Therapy and how is it helpful to kids?

Jane Annunziata: We wrote this book because we found consistently over many years of practice that parents and children have a lot of questions about play therapy. I think play therapy is just something that people are less familiar with. People are much more familiar with adult psychotherapy — they've seen it in the movies, they've seen it on TV, they have a sense of it just from their interactions with others. You know, you may talk with a friend about a problem, so it gives you some basic idea of what the process of psychotherapy might be like. But play therapy, I think, is a process that's harder to explain to people and harder to understand. So, we wrote that book to really help children and parents understand the process — what it is, how it works, how it benefits children, how it starts, how and when it stops — and just to explain the whole process of psychotherapy with young children.

Interviewer: What are some of the ways that you've heard of therapists using this book?

Jane Annunziata: Well, a lot of therapists have told us that it helps them to be able to explain to parents and children the process of play therapy. I know I use the book myself to explain to parents and kids. I often give the child the black-and-white version, the softcover version, of the book because they can not only use it as a coloring book but they can have it as their own and read about the process of therapy. And I think therapists also use it as a way to connect the child to the therapy. Sometimes if the therapist is going to be absent, say for vacation, the therapist could say, "Well, you could read your play therapy book while I'm gone." It sort of forms a bridge between the therapy, I think, and the therapist. And it educates. It educates the child and it educates the parent.

Interviewer: How is it used by parents? Do parents read the book to their children or is it something children read on their own?

Jane Annunziata: Well, the book is really for kids from about, I think, four to eight years old. So, on the younger end of the spectrum, parents would need to read it to kids, but as kids got older, they would be able to read it themselves. And I think parents use it to help them understand what's going on in therapy and help them with the feeling of being kind of outside of the therapy in some way. Although when we work with children, we always work with parents — at least speaking for myself and how I work. But the parent doesn't really know what's going on in that playroom for 50 minutes. So I think, it helps the parent feel more informed and connected to the therapy as well.

Interviewer: You mentioned that there are two versions of the book, one in color and one in black and white. How is the black-and-white version used?

Jane Annunziata: Well, the black-and-white version is used mostly for kids. I would say, you know, adults, of course, are the purchasers, they buy the hardcover version but the black-and-white version is much more for the child and they use it as a coloring book. And they love that, because when you color the book, you kind of make it your own. It's a little bit like creating your own book. And so it's used in that way.