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Popular Play Therapy Books

Books on this list may be purchased through PTUK either from Amazon or directly from us, as indicated. You can also purchase any book, CD etc. through our Amazon links – Any fees received via these links on our site go into the Play Therapy International Scholarship fund.

The first three titles are suggested as essential reading for anyone who wants to learn about play therapy.

Dibs in Search Of Self

Ballantine Books

0345 33925 8

Virginia M Axline

An easy to read introduction to play therapy by the founder of the non-directive play therapy approach.

Windows To Our Children

The Gestalt Journal Press


Violet Oaklander

Excellent coverage of many of the play therapy ‘tools’ and a gestalt approach to play therapy.

The Handbook of Dramatherapy



Sue Jennings

Essential reading for the Certificate course from a founder of dramatherapy in the UK.

Using Storytelling as a Therapeutic Tool with Children

Winslow Press


Margot Sunderland

Essential reading for the Certificate course from the UK’s leading author of therapeutic stories.

The Healing Path With Children

The Play Therapy Press


Mark A Barnes

A book written from the heart from a very experienced practitioner, the founder of PTI. Essential reading for all play therapy students. This title is available directly from Play Therapy International – please email:

The Handbook of Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology


0 415 19492 x

Allan Carr

An extremely comprehensive text book at an advanced level. Required reading for Diploma students.

Storytelling with Children

The Hawthorn Press


Nancy Mellon

Essential reading for the Certificate course and anyone wanting to master the craft of storytelling.

Inscapes of the Child’s World

Spring Publications


J Allen

Play therapy students have found this book very enlightening.

Not currently available through Amazon

Play Therapy

Ballantine Books

0 345 30335 0

Virginia Axline

A good introductory text book.

Child Centred Play Therapy


0 340 65253 5

Janet West

A very readable introductory text book.

Moon Over Water Meditation Made Clear With Techniques For Beginners and Initiates

Gateway Books


Jessica Macbeth

Essential introduction for techniques preceding creative visualisation.

Attachment and Loss

Penguin Books Ltd

0 14 013837 4

John Bowlby

John Bowlby’s writings on attachment are fundamental to understanding many of today’s children’s problems.

The Handbook of Play Therapy



Linnet McMahon

A good introductory text book.

Play Therapy – The Art of the Relationship

AD – Accelerated Development Inc.

1 55959 017 3

Garry L Landreth

Essential reading for Certificate students by one the world’s leading play therapy trainers.

Music Therapy. Intimate Notes

Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd


Mercedes Pavlicevic

Music therapy skills are essential for a Play Therapist. This is a very good introduction.

Sandplay Therapy with Children and Families

Jason Aronson Ltd


Lois Carey Sandplay is often the most powerful tool that a non directive Play Therapist is required to use.

This book is an excellent introduction.

Play Therapy

Bailliere Tindall


Kendrick, Ryan, Wilson

Basic textbook.

Counselling Children A Practical Introduction

Sage Publications Ltd


Kathryn Geldard, David Geldard

Basic textbook

Sandplay Studies Origins, Theory and Practice

Sigo Press


Katherine Bradway, Karen Signell, Geraldine Spare, Charles Stewart, Clare Thompson, Louis Stewart

Diploma level text on this subject.

Reconnecting to the Magic of Life

Imaginal Press


Joyce Mills

Essential reading for the Certificate course from the world’s leading creator of therapeutic metaphors.

Play Therapy UK is a participant in the Amazon Europe S.à r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Any fees received via these links on our site go into the Play Therapy International Scholarship fund.