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Resources for Therapy with Children 0-5

If you are like me and your primary population is NOT children under 5, yet you still work with them from time-to-time, then you also may have found yourself wondering what your role is since you cannot do regular talk-therapy. While most work in my experience with children under 5 is with parents, there is also room for play interventions and skills practice. I learned many techniques after lots of supervision, case consultations, classes, and my own research.

If you are finding yourself in a position in which you are eager to learn about therapy with children ages 0-5, here are some resources to get you started! I hope that at least one of these resourcses is helpful.


Firstly, the following do not have links as they can be found in many places, and I do not want to suggest any particular store!

Handbook of Infant Mental Health: Edited by Charles H Zeanah. Jr. This is a very thick book that gives an overview of information such as development, risk and protective factors, assessment, and interventions

The Early Childhood Education Intervention Treatment Planner: Published by Wiley. This guide (and most treatment planners by this editor and publisher) gives step by step interventions for early childhood.

DC 0-5: The DSM 5 is not intented for use for children 5 and under, so the DC 0-5 is technically (or so I have been taught in school) the book that should be used for diagnosis.

Evidence Based Practices:

Secondly, the following EBPs do not have links as there are many different websites that explain their use.

PCIT - Parent Child Interaction Therapy: PCIT is a therapist-guided intervention in which parents learn to interact and support their children by practicing while a therapist is watching and usually hidden.

Triple P - Positive Parenting Program: As the name suggests, the Triple P program goes in-depth with parents on positve parenting skills that they can use.

Links to Use:

Thirdly, there are several online resources you can use. Click the titles to be taken to their sites

CDC Developmental Milestones: The CDC provides in-depth information about developmental milestones (and what to do to help with development) for children ages 2 months to 5 years. Available in PDFs in English and Spanish! There is also an app for parents.

Creative Play Therapist: Creative Play Therapist provides resources and information related to play therapy.

Pathways: Pathways has free printable brochures and information for parents to learn about their infants. It also has a developmental milestone checklist available for infants and toddlers 0-3yrs.

If the child is old enough to process meaning in songs and short videos, here are a few options:

Sesame Street: Belly Breathing Song

Sesame Street: The Power of Yet (Encourages Kids to Try)

Daniel Tiger: STOP! (Assertiveness for kids for one half and recognizing all families are different/special in the second half)

Daniel Tiger: Come Play Family. Daniel is not ready to be a big brother but learns to be a big helper

Daniel Tiger: Daniel Feels Jealous

Daniel Tiger: Grownups Come Back (Song for Separation Anxiety)

Thank you for reading and I hope something was helpful!

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Please let me know what kind of articles you’d like to see in the future! Check me out on Instagram @eagersocialworker for post updates!


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