August 17, 2001


Note: Despite Dr. Richard A. Gardner's death on May 26, 2003, his games, theraputic instruments and books continue to be used worldwide.

Books on Psychotherapeutic Techniques

I have made many contributions in the realm of child psychotherapeutic techniques. The mutual storytelling technique, described in Therapeutic Communication with Children (1971), is widely regarded as a major therapeutic contribution. In Psychotherapeutic Approaches to the Resistant Child (1975), I describe techniques I have found useful for drawing inhibited and uncooperative children into meaningful psychotherapy. Separation Anxiety Disorder: Psychodynamics and Psychotherapy (1984) provides an in-depth discussion of the etiology and treatment of this common disorder. The Psychotherapeutic Techniques of Richard A. Gardner—Revised (1992) is a comprehensive statement of my therapeutic techniques and contributions. Psychotherapy with Adolescents (1988) provides a comprehensive statement of my techniques for treating teenagers. self-esteem Problems of Children: Psychodynamics and Psychotherapy (1992) deals in depth with this important psychotherapeutic issue. Conduct Disorders of Childhood: Psychodynamics and Psychopathology (1994) provides useful techniques for dealing with disruptive children. Psychogenic Learning Disabilities: Psychodynamics and Psychotherapy (1996) deals with this category of childhood disorders, not given the attention it deserves in recent years. Dream Analysis in Psychotherapy (1996) presents techniques useful for psychodynamically oriented therapists helping patients analyze their dreams.

Therapeutic Games

The most widely used of my therapeutics games is The Talking, Feeling, and Doing Game (1973, updated 1998). This game is a standard in child psychotherapy and is used throughout the world. It has been translated into Spanish, Dutch, German, and Russian. The Storytelling Card Game (1988) and The Pick-and-Tell Games (1994) are basically mutually storytelling derivative games and are useful for children who have trouble telling self-created stories. The Helping, Sharing, and Caring Game (1998) is a modification of The Talking, Feeling, and Doing Game that is designed for the general population of children but it can also be used as a therapeutic adjunct to the aforementioned games.

Psychodiagnostic Instruments

The Gardner Children’s Projective Battery was published in 1999. Its companion volume, Clinical Utilization of the Gardner Children’s Projective Battery, was published simultaneously. This instrument includes the most sensitive psychodiagnostic instruments I have found useful over the course of my career.

Children’s Books

Dr. Gardner’s Stories About the Real World (Volumes I [1974] and II [1983]), provide reality oriented advice for children in the context of enjoyable stories. Dr. Gardner’s Fairy Tales for Today’s Children (1974), Dr. Gardner’s Modern Fairy Tales (1977), and Dorothy and the Lizard of Oz (1980), are modifications of traditional children’s stories that remove unhealthy elements and introduce healthier modes of adaptation, retaining all the while the excitement of the fairy tale genre. Dr. Gardner’s Fables For Our Times (1981) and Girls and Boys Book About Good and Bad Behavior (1990) deal with values, ethics, and self-esteem and has proven useful for parents, teachers, and therapists.

Parental Guidance

Understanding Children: A Parents Guide to Child Rearing (1973) provides parents with guidelines for child rearing.


The Boys and Girls Book About Divorce (1970), written to be read by children, has become standard reading for children of divorce. It is currently in its 28th printing. Its companion volume, The Parents Book About Divorce—Second Edition (1991), is also widely read. Bantam Books, publisher of the paperback edition, claims on its cover: "The #1 Guide for Concerned Parents." The Boys and Girls Book About One-Parent Families (1978) is for children in homes where there has been separation, divorce, parental death, or where a parent has never married. T he Boys and Girls Book About Stepfamilies (1981) is widely utilized. Psychotherapy with Children of Divorce (1976) has become a standard reference for therapists working with such children. Family Evaluation in Child Custody Litigation (1982) is a highly regarded guidebook for professionals involved in child custody disputes. Its update and expanded edition, Family Evaluation in Child Custody Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation (1989) enjoys similar high regard. Child Custody Litigation: A Guide for Parents and Mental Health Professionals (1986) describes in detail the various kinds of psychopathology produced in children and parents involved in child-custody disputes.

The Parental Alienation Syndrome

The Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a disorder that arises in the context of highly litigated child-custody disputes. My first article on the subject was published in 1985, and my first book, The Parental Alienation Syndrome and the Differentiation between Fabricated and Genuine Child Sexual Abuse was published in 1987. My first book completely devoted to the disorder, The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Guide for Legal and Mental Health Professionals, was published in 1992. The updated and expanded second edition was published in 1998. Therapeutic Interventions for Children with Parental Alienation Syndrome (2001) describes for the first time my innovative Vicarious Deprogramming Procedure. In 2002, my children's book on the PAS, The Boys and Girl's Book about Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is scheduled for publication in 2003.

Sexual Abuse

Genuine sex abuse is certainly widespread, but false accusations of sex abuse have become quite common in recent years, especially in the context of child custody disputes. The differentiation between these two types of accusations was dealt with in The Parental Alienation Syndrome and the Differentiation Between Fabricated and Genuine Child Sex Abuse (1987). Sex Abuse Hysteria: Salem Witch Trials Revisited (1991) describes the psychological factors operative in bringing about the sex-abuse hysteria that we are witnessing at this time. The 1987 volume was expanded and updated into two books: The Parental Alienation Syndrome (1992) and True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse (1992). Subsequently, the latter was again expanded and updated into two books: Protocols for the Sex-Abuse Evaluation (1995) and Psychotherapy With Sex-Abuse Victims: True, False, and Hysterical (1996). Mental health professionals involved in forensic work have found valuable my Testifying in Court: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals (1996). Sex Abuse Trauma? or Trauma From Other Sources? (2002), is designed to differentiate between the traumatic effects of sexual abuse and trauma from other sources-- a differentiation extremely important in courts of law, whether or not the child was sexually abused

Most of my books have been published by Creative Therapeutics, Inc., a company I established to publish and distribute my books and diagnostic/therapeutic instruments. Other books of mine have been published by major publishers such as Bantam Books, Prentice-Hall, Avon, Jason Aronson, Doubleday, and G.P. Putnam. My books and therapeutic games have been translated into Spanish, Japanese, Dutch, German, Italian, Hebrew, French, Czech, and Russian.

More information on Dr. Garndner's publications is available on the web site: For more information on scientific articles and legal citations on the parental alienation syndrome (PAS) and sex abuse: refs_index