Violet Oaklander

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Violet Solomon Oaklander (born 1927) is a child and adolescent therapist known for her method of integrating Gestalt Therapy theory and practice with play therapy techniques, to create Gestalt Play Therapy. Her book on expressive therapy[1] Windows to Our Children, was first published in 1978, is still in print in 2015 and has been translated into at least 15 languages.[2]


Oaklander's work is used as a point of reference by other therapists who want to incorporate Gestalt therapy with children.[3] Her work has also been used to help support the theoretical foundation of art therapy programs for youth.[4]

Oaklander has traveled across the world, lecturing and teaching workshops on her Gestalt Play Therapy method for mental health professionals.[5]

In 2003, about 20 of her family members and colleagues founded the Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation,[6] a non-profit organization, to continue her work after she retired.[7]


  • "Commentary II: A Developmental Theory of the Infant". Gestalt Review. 16 (3): 251–258. 2012.
  • Hidden Treasure: A Map to the Child's Inner Self. London: Karnac. 2006. ISBN 9781855754904.
  • Oaklander, Violet (2001-01-01). "Gestalt play therapy". International Journal of Play Therapy. 10 (2). doi:10.1037/h0089479.
  • "The Therapeutic Process With Children and Adolescents". Gestalt Review. 1 (4): 292–317. 1997.
  • O'Connor, Kevin J.; Schaefer, Charles E., eds. (1994). "Gestalt Play Therapy". Handbook of Play Therapy: Advances and Innovations. 2. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 0471584630.
  • Windows to Our Children: A Gestalt Therapy Approach to Children and Adolescents. Moab, Utah: Real People Press. 1978. ISBN 9780911226171.


  1. ^ McMullin, Lisa Ann (1997). "The Rosebush: An Examination of the Images and Metaphorical Narratives of Grade Six Boys" (PDF). Master of Education Thesis. University of Lethbridge. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Oaklander, Violet". WorldCat. OCLC. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  3. ^ Lobb, Margherita Spagnuolo (2012). "Response to Roos, Oaklander, and Mortola". Gestalt Review. 16 (3): 267–272. Retrieved 28 August 2015. (Subscription required (help)).
  4. ^ Goodman, Robin; Williams, Katherine (November 1998). "Talk, Talk, Talk, When Do We Draw?". American Journal of Art Therapy. 37 (2): 39. Retrieved 28 August 2015. (Subscription required (help)).
  5. ^ Campbell, Chari (October 1993). "Interview with Violet Oaklander, Author of 'Windows to Our Children'". Elementary School Guidance & Counseling. 28 (1): 52. Retrieved 28 August 2015. (Subscription required (help)).
  6. ^ "About Us - Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation". Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  7. ^ Oaklander, Violet (2012). "Commentary II: A Developmental Theory of the Infant". Gestalt Review. 16 (3): 251–258. Retrieved 28 August 2015. (Subscription required (help)).

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