“A small volume and easy to read, Lisa Dion’s book is packed with clinical wisdom. Written primarily for play therapists, it is of interest to scholars of play, child development and mental-health practitioners, and early-childhood educators. The author has built on the groundbreaking work of Bonnie Badenoch (who wrote the foreword to the book) to provide play therapists with a clear and highly understandable rationale for integrating interpersonal neurobiology into their work in the playroom. The book places considerable emphasis on regulating the nervous system of the child as well as the therapist in the play session. If a parent is included in the session, the therapist takes responsibility for regulating the nervous system of all three. Dion offers specific suggestions for moderating the hyperarousal typically seen in youngsters who act out aggressively in play sessions, but she also offers ideas about how to handle the other end of the spectrum when children manifest hyperarousal.”

David A. Crenshaw

Click here to read full comprehensive review from David Crenshaw, in the American Journal of Play (Spring 2019, vol. 11, no. 3)

“Dion’s approach to this complex and rarely explored subject is comprehensive, the use of uncomplicated language makes the text accessible to many. . . . An excellent introduction to working therapeutically with aggression in play therapy. It may also be helpful to signpost to social workers and clinicians doing direct work―particularly for the chapters on the Nervous System and Basics on Regulating.”

― British Journal of Play Therapy

“[H]elpful for every child therapist. Dion does a brilliant job of integrating mindful awareness, polyvagal theory, and a neurobiological understanding of aggression into a comprehensive, thoughtful, and much needed guide for handling aggression in play therapy.”

― Psych Central

“Exceptionally articulate and very well presented. . . . [A]n especially and unreservedly recommended addition to Child Psychology and Counseling collections and supplemental studies curriculums.”

― The Midwest Book Review

“This book is a much-needed comprehensive discussion on an issue that most clinicians are uncertain how to handle. The invaluable, unique contribution of this book is Dion’s grounded discussion on the importance of the clinician to regulate her arousal when facing provocative aggression, aggressive play, or aggressive themes. This book offers effective ways the therapist (or parent) can develop their own self-regulation so that children receive the support needed for healthful integration.”

― Felicia Carroll, LMFT, RPT-S, Director, The West Coast Institute for Gestalt Therapy with Children and Adolescents

Aggression in Play Therapy is a must have resource for both new and seasoned clinicians who are working with children who exhibit aggressive behaviors. Lisa Dion help the reader to understand the child from the inside out by addressing the underlying neurobiological factors that drive those unwanted and at times overwhelming behaviors. It helps readers conceptualize the roots of their client’s distress, as well as gives practical play therapy interventions and guidance in engaging and treating disruptive behavior disorders effectively.”

― Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, RPT-S, Director of Child and Adolescent Services, Wasatch Family Therapy, Salt Lake City, Utah

“Lisa Dion’s book guides us through the difficult territory of how to handle aggression when it emerges in the playroom. She shows us how to let go of our fears of increasing aggressive behaviors in children when they act them out in therapy. By mindfully joining with children who are playing aggressively, she demonstrates that our capacity to provide a safe space for the exploration of aggression is actually the best way to help children heal the fear that is causing the aggression in the first place.”

― Theresa Kestly, PhD, author of The Interpersonal Neurobiology of Play

Let us know your review! Click here to Email us