In this episode, Dr, Janet Courtney talks with us a little bit about the creation of her books and trainings that focus on infant mental health, development play, and expressive therapies. Her passion for supporting infants, children, and families is contagious and the stories that she shares in this episode reflect the neuro-developmental as well as relational impact of this type of work. This episode is full of stories, clinical examples, and such wonderful information that could be useful to any therapist working with infants, children, and families. Enjoy!

Janet A. Courtney, PhD, LCSW is Founder of FirstPlay Therapy® [an Infant Mental Health & Developmental Play Therapy model] and Founder and Editor of FirstPlay® Café: An e-magazine for parents (womb to six Years). She is Director of Developmental Play & Attachment Therapies, Inc. She is a Registered Play Therapy-Supervisor, TEDx Speaker and presently Chair of the Association for Play Therapy Ethics and Practice Committee and past President of the Florida Association for Play Therapy and former Chair of the Viola Brody Award Committee. Awarded Third Place overall in the Best Practices Showcase for FirstPlay Therapy at the First 1000 Days Infant Mental Health Summit (Sept, 2018) along with the Children’s Healing Institute. She is author and co-editor of Touch in Child Counseling and Play Therapy: An Ethical and Clinical Guide. New York, NY: Routledge, and her research into practitioner experiences of training in touch and Developmental Play Therapy is published in the American Journal of Art Therapy and the International Journal of Play Therapy. She is a contributing author for the chapter, “Touching Autism through Developmental Play Therapy” in the book, “Play-based Interventions for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders;” and has a chapter in the book, Environmental Expressive Therapies (2017), titled: “The Art of Utilizing the Metaphorical Elements of Nature as ‘Co-Therapist’ in Ecopsychology Play Therapy.” She is also published in the Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture. She offers a certification in FirstPlay Therapy® (including FirstPlay® Infant Massage Storytelling) and provides training to professionals in the Ethical and Clinical Competencies of Touch, FirstPlay® Therapy, Ericksonian-based StoryPlay®, Expressive Therapies, and Ecopsychology Play Therapy. She has been invited to speak nationally and internationally including the Cayman Islands, England, Ireland, Morocco, Russia and the Ukraine. She is a provider through the Florida state boards of Mental Health and Massage Therapy, and an approved provider through the Association for Play Therapy. She specializes in Infant Mental Health and Infant Play Therapy, Attachment, and Trauma related issues. Dr. Courtney’s new form of Kinesthetic Storytelling® can be found in her children’s book, The Magic Rainbow. Website: and

Email Dr. Courtney at

Check out Janet’s book, “Infant Play Therapy: Foundations, Models, Programs, and Practice” 

Check out the Janet’s newest book, “Healing Child and Family Trauma through expressive and Play Therapist: Art, Nature, Storytelling, Body & Mindfulness”

Curative Touch Of A Magic Rainbow Hug Ted Talk

First Play Trainings


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