Bibliotherapy in Telehealth for Children and Adolescents

Emily Prusator, LCSW, RPT

Program Goals

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other access issues, families are increasingly seeking out telehealth services to address their children and adolescents’ behavioral concerns, grief and loss, and overall stress and anxiety. For therapists accustomed to working with children through a play therapy lens, this service delivery format can be challenging. Bibliotherapy is an accessible option to continue integrating metaphor, narrative work, and play into telehealth sessions. This workshop will provide participants with the foundational knowledge necessary to integrate bibliotherapy techniques into telehealth services for children and adolescents with a variety of presenting concerns. Demonstrations will enhance the didactic portions of the workshop and opportunities for hands-on learning through role-plays and discussions will be provided.

Program Schedule

This three-hour workshop will include didactic presentations, demonstrations, and opportunities for role-play.

12:30-1:00 - Foundations of bibliotherapy

1:00-1:30 - Demonstration and discussion

1:30-2:00 - Adapting bibliotherapy for telehealth

2:00-2:15 - Break

2:15-2:45 - Role-plays

2:45-3:15 - Selecting developmentally appropriate materials

3:15-3:30 - Demonstration

3:30-3:45 - Questions and answers

Workshop Objectives

By the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • List the foundational principles of integrating bibliotherapy into telehealth services for children and adolescents
  • Identify criteria for selecting developmentally appropriate bibliotherapy materials
  • Describe how to use bibliotherapy to accomplish treatment goals
  • Engage children and adolescents in the bibliotherapy process


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Canty, N. (2017). Bibliotherapy: Its processes and benefits and application in clinical and developmental settings. Logos, 28(3), 32-40.

De Vries, D., Brennan, Z., Lankin, M., Morse, R., Rix, B., & Beck, T. (2017). Healing with books: A literature review of bibliotherapy used with children and youth who have experienced trauma. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 51(1).

Gloff, N. E., LeNoue, S. R., Novins, D. K., & Myers, K. (2015). Telemental health for children and adolescents. International Review of Psychiatry, 27(6), 513-524.

Hovland, J. C. (2016). Rural Telemental Health and Adolescents: Try a Little Shakespeare. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 11(2), 187-197.

Lichtsinn, A. R. (2013). Social Workers' Use of Bibliotherapy with Children & Issues of Diversity.

Montgomery, P., & Maunders, K. (2015). The effectiveness of creative bibliotherapy for internalizing, externalizing, and prosocial behaviors in children: A systematic review. Children and youth services review, 55, 37-47.

Paparoussi, M., Andreou, E., & Gkouni, V. (2011). Approaching children’s fears through bibliotherapy: A classroom-based intervention. Part I: Community-Building and Student Learning.

Pola, A., & Nelson, R. (2014). The impact of bibliotherapy on positive coping in children who have experienced disaster. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 48(4), 341-344.

Racine, N., Hartwick, C., Collin-Vézina, D., & Madigan, S. (2020). Telemental health for child trauma treatment during and post-COVID-19: Limitations and considerations. Child Abuse & Neglect, 110, 104698.

Robinson, J. C. (2012). Bibliotherapy with children. In Techniques of Grief Therapy (pp. 326-328). Routledge.

Suvilehto, P. (2019). We Need Stories and Bibliotherapy Offers One Solution to Developmental Issues. Online Journal of Complementary & Alternative Medicine.

Yuan, S., Zhou, X., Zhang, Y., Zhang, H., Pu, J., Yang, L., ... & Xie, P. (2018). Comparative efficacy and acceptability of bibliotherapy for depression and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment.


Emily Prusator is a licensed clinical social worker in Virginia and the District of Columbia. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Human and Organizational Development and Women’s and Gender Studies with a minor in Child Development from Vanderbilt University. Emily earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University with a concentration in Gender Violence Intervention. She has received specialized training in play therapy and received her RPT credentials in 2020.

Emily has over eight years of experience in fundraising, research, and advocacy for survivors of trauma, particularly child survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. She has been providing direct, clinical grief and trauma services for children and their families for nearly five years in school, community, and office settings at the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing in Washington, DC. Emily’s earliest clinical work was in providing Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to children ages 6-17 years with complex trauma. More recently, her work has centered on providing group and individual services to children and adults who are navigating trauma, loss, or the intersection of both. Emily has also received training in play therapy, including integration of sand therapy, the expressive arts, and particular assessment methods such as the Extended Play-Based Developmental Assessment. Emily is currently pursuing Level 1 certification in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy under the training of Janina Fisher.

Emily is passionate about promoting healthy attachments between children and the important adults in their lives. She pursues this passion through her ongoing training role at the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing and her clinical role at the Gil Institute.

General Course Information

Participants will have ample opportunity to discuss their specific needs and clinical questions.  Participant feedback will be sought out throughout the session

Clinical case discussions will adhere to HIPPA regulations regarding client confidentiality.

Target audience is Mental Health Professionals: Registered Play Therapists, Social Workers, Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors and Licensed marriage and Family Therapists.

Target audience is Mental Health Professionals: Social Workers, Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors and Licensed marriage and Family Therapists.

The program is Beginning Level

This event is sponsored by Starbright Training Institute.  Starbright Training Institute is approved by the Association for Play Therapy to offer continuing education specific to play therapy (APT Approved Provider No. 96-029).

Myriam Goldin, LCSW; RPT-S, is Director of Starbright Training Institute.  Phone:  703-980-2886.  Email:   Web Page:

Grievance Policy

Starbright Training Institute seeks to ensure equitable treatment of every person and to make every attempt to resolve grievances in a fair manner. Please submit a written grievance to: Myriam Goldin, LCSW; RPT-S, Director of Starbright Training Institute.  Phone:  703-980-2886.  Email:   Web Page:

Grievances would receive, to the best of our ability, corrective action in order to prevent further problems.

Accommodations for the Differently Abled

Starbright Training Institute’s training facilities are handicap accessible. Individuals needing special accommodations please contact the Director of Starbright Training Institute. See contact information above.

Due to COVID-19 health concerns, this one-time online event has been approved by APT for (3 hrs) CONTACT CE Hours.