Enhancing Social-Emotional Literacy

Using Directive Play Therapy Interventions With Popular Children’s Literature


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In this video interview, Dr. Susan Elswick explains how to increase social-emotional literacy skills in children of all ages through the combination of children’s books and play based interventions. Dr. Elswick explains how to create play therapy treatment plans that involve the therapist, teacher and parent as a team and how to document and track progress over the course of treatment. She provides practical ways to overcome resistance of play therapy in the school setting and how to build alliances with teachers and administrators to implement play based bibilotherapy programs.


1) Participants will be able to identify findings in research and literature regarding bibliotherapy and social emotional literacy training and how they related to play therapy practices.

2) Participants will be more familiar with how to implement play therapy based interventions based on children's literature and programming within school and private practice settings.

3) Participants will be able to identify 2-3 children's literature/ books that can be used in play therapy practice and how to effectively teach emotional literacy through the use of the books

4) Participants will be exposed to practices based in multi-systemic play therapy programming (therapy, home and school focused) aimed at improving outcomes and increasing skill generalization

SPEAKER BIO - Dr. Susan Elswick 

Dr. Susan Elswick, Memphis, TN

Dr. Susan Elswick obtained her Master of Social Work at University of Tennessee in 2006 and her Doctor of Education in Instructional and Curriculum leadership with a specialty in Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of Memphis in 2011. Served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Tennessee College of Social Work Memphis Campus from 2008-current. Served as a clinical assistant professor at the University Of Memphis Department Of Social Work Memphis from 2012-2015. She served as assistant professor and BA Program Director from 2015-current at the University of Memphis Department of Social Work.

Dr. Susan Elswick has taught both undergraduate and graduate level courses in her time as a professor. She has experience teaching in face-to-face, hybrid, and online course delivery. She has taught over thirty sections of master’s level courses in the areas of human behavior in the social environment, field education/ field seminar, social work practice with children and families, and school social work. She has also taught 8 sections of undergraduate content and curriculum in intro to social work, school social work, and social response to the human need. She has served as field liaison and field instructor served for both graduate and undergraduate students since 2008.

Dr. Susan Elswick has over 15 years of clinical mental health experience that includes community mental health, case management, residential programming, ABA-based programming, school-based programming, parent coaching, integrated behavioral health, and home-based services. She is the CEO/ President of Behavior Services of the Mid-South, a private practice and consulting firm that provides site-based behavioral and mental health services to the Mid-South region.

Dr. Elswick is the author of thirteen peer reviewed journal publications, two monographed books, and has served as the editor for one book publication. She also has over thirty referred conference presentations. She has received more than $1 million in internal and external grants.


 1 Hour Non-Contact Credit Is Available For This Course With The Purchase Of The All Access Pass

(All Access Pass Purchase Offer Comes Immediately After Summit Registration!)

20 Total Hours of Credit Available As Part of the All Access Pass.  See terms here. 

**Play Therapy credit will not be awarded to non-mental health professionals**

Summit Founder and Hostess:  Jennifer Taylor, LCSW, RPT-S

For questions or comments about this event, email

Jennifer has nearly 20 years experience working with children and families.  She is currently licensed in Florida, Tennessee, and Hawaii.  She is EMDR Trained and TF-CBT Certified.  

She is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Memphis and has presented at multiple national conferences.  Jennifer provides play therapy case consultation, supervision and training (APT Approved Provider 12-331).  

Oh, and she also has three children under the age of 4 and a pretty fantastic husband!