Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation
Home | About | Training & Presentations | Newsletter | Donate/Get Involved | Scholarship Fund | Resources | Shop | Contact Us


Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation Store


Windows to Our Children


Windows to Our Children

Making Lemonade

Price: $35

In this time of great upheaval and stress caused by the worldwide pandemic and many other economic, political and environmental challenges, Dr. Violet Oaklander's unique model of psychotherapy for children and adolescents is more timely and urgently needed than ever. Her seminal book, Windows to Our Children, first published over 40 years ago, has changed the lives of thousands of mental health professionals and millions of their clients across the U.S. and around the world.

In celebration of Dr. Oaklander's contribution and in acknowledgement of the ever greater need to help young people cope with our changing and turbulent world, the VSOF Store is offering the new, second edition of Windows to Our Children, coupled with a DVD of the documentary Making Lemonade, the compelling story of Dr. Oaklander's life and the evolution of her work, for a deeply discounted price of $35. The individual price for these items is $40 each. (See the individual description of these items below for more details on their contents.)



Cover Front _220.jpg

Healing Through Play Using the Oaklander Model: A Guidebook for Therapists and Counselors Working with Children, Adolescents and Families

Karen Fried PsyD LMFT

Christine McKenna LMFT LPCC

Price: $25.99

We created this guidebook to serve as a companion to the Oaklander Training Program Violet developed after publishing Windows to Our Children. Child and adolescent therapists came from all over the world to attend her life-changing two-week intensive workshops in Santa Barbara, California. This training continues in Santa Monica, California (led by Karen Fried) and in other United States and international venues by facilitators whom Violet trained, including Lynn Stadler and Peter Mortola. While this guidebook is meant to be used by therapists who have participated in Violet's training process, that experience is not a requirement.



Sanando a traves del Juego Usando el Modelo Oaklander

por Karen Fried PsyD LMFT

Christine McKenna LMFT LPCC

Price: $25.99

Karen Fried y Christine McKenna crearon esta guía como un complemento del programa de entrenamiento en el Modelo de Oaklander que Violet desarrolló después de publicar Windows to Our Children. Terapeutas de niños y adolescentes vinieron de todo el mundo para asistir a sus talleres intensivos de dos semanas que cambiaron su vida en Santa Bárbara, California. Esta capacitación continúa en Santa Mónica, California (dirigida por Karen Fried) y en otros lugares de Estados Unidos e internacionales por facilitadores que Violet capacitó, incluidos Lynn Stadler y Peter Mortola. Si bien esta guía puede ser utilizada por terapeutas que hayan participado en el proceso de capacitación de Violet, esa experiencia no es un requisito. Estamos muy agradecidos con Liz Cervantes y Michelle Urrutia por su experta traducción al español.


Windows to Our ChildrenWindows to Our Children
Violet Oaklander, PhD
Price: $40

For the first time since its publication in 1978, there is a new edition of Dr. Violet Oaklander's ground-breaking book, Windows To Our Children. The new 35th Anniversary Edition features a recent lengthy interview with Dr. Oaklander by Christiane Elsbree, M.S.W. Ms. Elsbree, a long-time colleague of Dr. Oaklander, has also added a new introduction to the original text of this classic book. A comprehensive index has been added to the 35th anniversary edition as well.

Windows has been read and used extensively for decades by counselors and psychologists and is written in a format that is easily readable by all. It includes examples of therapy sessions with children and adolescents and offers a wealth of examples of the use of therapeutic techniques such as expression through art, clay, poetry, story telling, the sand tray, music and puppets with Gestalt Therapy theory, practice and technique as the underlying framework.

A major section, "Specific Problem Behaviors", explores aggression, anger, the hyperactive child, the withdrawn child, fears, specific stress, conditions, traumatic experiences, physical symptoms, autism, guilt, and self-esteem.

Windows crosses cultural boundaries. It has been translated into fifteen languages and the original English version has been used extensively in South Africa, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

This book can be a window to the child within you as well as to the children you are with.



Hidden TreasureHidden Treasure
A Map to the Child's Inner Self
Price: $39.95

Hidden Treasure is a follow up to Oaklander’s best selling book, Windows To Our Children. It contains material that she has developed over the last 27 years.

The book provides an approach to working with children and adolescents that involves a variety of creative, projective and expressive techniques with Gestalt Therapy, theory, philosophy and practice as the underlying framework. The focus is to provide the child with a means for expressing his or her innermost feelings, to foster self-awareness and self-discovery, to enhance self-esteem, and in general, to promote emotional growth. The approach is applicable to a wide variety of ages as well as settings as individual work, family work, and group settings.

This book will interest child and adolescent psychotherapists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, interns, school personnel, as well as graduate-level students. Parents of young children may also find it helpful. This book has been translated into six languages in addition to English.




The Bear InsideThe Bear Inside
By Peter Mortola and Mark Molchan
Price: $17.00

We all have a bear inside. Sometimes the bear will act in ways that hurts others, biting someone at preschool, hitting our sibling, or using vicious words to attack someone on Facebook. Of course, we want our children to control this aggressive, inner bear. But sometimes, we need our bear to help us. We want our children to be appropriately assertive when confronted by a bully, when they are facing unhelpful peer pressure, or even when they are trying to score a goal in soccer. Clearly, coming to terms with “the bear inside” is important work for any growing child. This book was written to help children, parents, teachers and counselors do just that.

Peter Mortola says: We need to help kids learn that aggressive energy can be both hurtful and helpful. “The Bear Inside” is a new illustrated children’s book which assists parents, teachers, and counselors with this conversation.

Violet Oaklander says: "This delightful book will help children feel a stronger sense of self and learn how to deal with strong feelings."




El Tesoro Escondido

El Tesoro Escondido

"The Spanish translation of Violet Oaklander's newest book, Hidden Treasure. Published by the Chilean publisher Cuatro Vientos."

Price: $33








Windowframes: Learning the Art of Gestalt Play Therapy the Oaklander Way

By Peter Mortola, Ph.D.

Price: $49.95

How do children emotionally heal and regain equilibrium after suffering trauma? How do adults understand and help them in a therapeutic relationship? These questions are at the heart of Violet Oaklander's approach to play therapy and her methods for training adults to work with children and adolescents. In this text, Peter Mortola uses qualitative and narrative methods of analysis to document and detail Oaklander's work in a two-week summer training attended by child therapists from around the world.

Peter Mortola says: This book is about two, related things. First, it is a book about Dr. Violet Oaklander’s particular approach to doing therapy with children and adolescents. Second, it is a book about her methods of training adults to do that kind of therapy with the children and adolescents with whom they work. These two things are related in that Dr. Oaklander’s methods of doing therapy with children and her methods of training adults share important parallels. These parallels are explored throughout the book, and the result is a text that should be of interest to anyone involved in or interested in working with children or adolescents in the counseling, therapeutic, or educational contexts. Essentially, I believe this book will be of interest to anyone who wrestles with a fundamental question that has captured my ongoing attention: How does one come to understand and work effectively with children?
Violet Oaklander says: "Thank you, Peter, for writing this book. I hope those of you who read it will gain from it an appreciation of what it takes to create and run such a training program, as well as insights into the complexity of teaching adults to learn how to work with children and adolescents in a vital and effective way."


Ventanas a Nuestros Ninos

Ventanas a Nuestros Ninos

Out of Stock!

The Spanish translation of Violet Oaklander's classic, Windows to Our Children. Published by the Chilean publisher Cuatro Vientos.










Violet Oaklander Audio SetsInternational Gestalt Journal Volume 32, Number 2

Price: $29

The Fall 2009 International Gestalt Journal Volume 32, Number 2, edited by Felicia Carroll and dedicated to the work of Dr. Violet Oaklander. The entire issue is about Gestalt therapy with children and adolescents. Contributors are from South Africa, Australia, the U.S., the U.K, Switzerland, Brazil and Taiwan. Several refer to Violet’s work. In the journal is an article by Christiane Elsbree, longtime colleague of Violet’s, written using excerpts from an extended interview with Violet.




Violet Oaklander Audio Sets

Six Audio Discussions with Violet Oaklander, Ph. D.

Price: $69.95

This collection of six audio discussions span several years of Dr. Oaklander’s career. Subjects range from the sometimes frightening experience of a child's anger, to helping children and adolescents become self-nurturing. These 50-minute to 1-hour programs offer a wealth of good information and useful advice. All are written and narrated by Dr. Oaklander.

You can play this disk on any MP3 capable CD or DVD player. Or, import the discussions directly into your ipod or any portable MP3 device.

Gestalt Therapy With Children: In this first volume in the series, Dr. Oaklander discusses Gestalt therapy concepts applied to work with children, relationships of organismic self-regulation to children's needs, the child's sense of self and issues of contact, contact boundary disturbances, and vital considerations in the therapy process.

Working with the Anger of Children and Adolescents: This program covers anger as it relates to self, what children do with anger, steps in working with anger, techniques for working with anger, very young children and anger, adolescents and anger, and families and anger.

The Therapy Process With Children and Adolescents: This program explores the initial session, the issue of contact, the contact functions, the role of resistance, enhancing self-support, promoting emotional expression, dealing with the child's process, and termination.

Helping Children and Adolescents to Become Self-Nurturing: This program deals with the whole aspect of transforming negative, bad feelings about the self into loving, nurturing feelings toward the self. Since children tend to blame themselves for everything that happens to them, and since feelings of shame and guilt are often insidiously pervasive at the deepest level of the child's psyche, helping children learn to be self-accepting and actively self-nurturing is the single most important element in the therapeutic process. Specific examples of how to do this with children of all ages – from the very young child to the adolescent (and adult) are discussed.

Music As Therapy: A Therapeutic Use of Music Making with Children and Adolescents: This program presents a novel approach to using music making as a therapeutic experience. Music is continually created all around us in the sounds of birds, animals, insects, wind, and sea. Within each child – within each of us – is the capacity to create music. Through a natural form of music making, adapted from the work of the renowned musician Paul Winter, children experience and express aspects of the self in new ways while enhancing contact and communication skills. The experience is both enlivening and nourishing – energizing, while soothing and calming. This approach can be used in individual, group, and family therapy.

Treating Children with Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder: Dr. Oaklander finds it extremely interesting that such a large percentage of children are diagnosed as having attention deficit or hyperactive disorders. This program discusses possible causes, the issue of medication, and how Dr. Oaklander views these disorders from a Gestalt Therapy perspective. The main focus here, however, is to explore the treatment of these children. Those who work with children see a great many come into therapy with this diagnosis. How can we best help them feel good about themselves and develop and grow in healthy ways? Dr. Oaklander presents many case examples of children in her practice over the years, and their response to various modes of treatment. Although directed to therapists, parents and teachers will also find this work revealing and helpful.


Making Lemonade: The Life and Work of Violet Oaklander, Ph.D

Price: $40

This 75 minute documentary was produced by founding member Claire Mercurio, Ph.D., along with her husband, Peter, and eldest son, Paul.  In the film Violet shares a number of significant stories about her life and work.  Her narratives are intimate and compelling.  From getting burned at age 5 to her involvement with Gestalt therapy in the midst of her son Michael’s fight with systemic lupus, Violet carries the viewer along on her journey.  It is a journey of tragedy and despair as well as triumph; it is the journey of a woman with groundbreaking ideas and an intuitive sense of what children need.

In November, 2011 Claire Mercurio, Ph.D., documentary producer wrote about the making of this documentary:   “I was first introduced to the work of Violet Oaklander, Ph.D. in 1990 at a Los Angeles outpatient mental health clinic with a child and adolescent program.  I was accruing my psychology internship hours, and my supervisor gave me a copy of “Windows to Our Children.”  I was enthralled and inspired and said to myself, “this is what I want to do!”
Three years later, newly licensed and with a 3-month-old in tow, my husband and I moved to Santa Barbara.  The only person I knew there was my son’s pediatrician, so I thought I would find a “Mommy and Me” type group, and looked under “parenting” in the yellow pages.  I could not believe my eyes – I was staring at the name “Violet Oaklander, Ph.D.”  I immediately called the number – and she picked up the phone!  I was practically speechless, but managed to inquire about her workshops and trainings.  Before long Violet was my supervisor, my mentor and my friend.

When Violet’s friends and family met at Taffy’s restaurant in October of 2003 to discuss forming a foundation in her honor, I knew I wanted my contribution to be a documentary of her life and work.  As my husband Peter is a professional film camera operator, it made sense to me.  Then my oldest son Paul got involved with video production in high school, so I thought it could be a family affair.  Making the film was a labor of love all around.  I am truly grateful to have Violet as a continuing source of inspiration.”



Child Therapy Case Consultation with Dr. Violet Oaklander

This video is available in streaming format only, directly from Go to Child Therapy Case Consultation to purchase.

In this video, with a warm and supportive presence, Dr. Oaklander offers guidance to three therapists, each struggling with difficult cases. From an 11-year-old boy who was expelled from school soon after his parents separated, to a 6-year-old girl who has been shuffled around to five foster homes in three years, to a boy entering puberty who was molested when he was four, Oaklander shares her wisdom and expertise on child development, trauma, and the nuts and bolts of exploring children’s inner worlds. Additionally, she offers detailed advice about engaging with parents and building a child’s sense of self.

Sprinkling in Gestalt themes such as the importance of contact and following the aliveness, Oaklander also demonstrates the specifics of using art therapy techniques to explore each child’s emotional landscape. By sitting in on this consultation session, you will receive a wealth of concrete, practical strategies, and walk away feeling more confident in your ability to bring child therapy to life.

By watching this video, you will:

  • Understand how Oaklander integrates expressive arts and Gestalt therapy.
  • Develop skills for working with children who have experienced various traumas.
  • Learn techniques for helping children express emotions, particularly anger.
  • In addition to the compelling and illustrative consultation sessions, this video also includes a brief interview with Violet Oaklander by Victor Yalom, in which she discusses her thoughts on consultation and the importance of the therapeutic relationship. She also talks about why she thinks many child therapists need to learn to be more directive. Although Oaklander identifies herself as a Gestalt therapist, her in-depth expertise and sensible, down-to-earth suggestions will be helpful to all therapists who work with children.   Produced by (instructional and CEU versions available from them)

    What therapists are saying about this video:

    This video is really a gem. Dr. Oaklander's pioneering gestalt work with children is demonstrated with clarity and presence in these three complex and challenging cases. A must have for training child therapists and seasoned clinicians as well.
    - Patric White, PhD, psychotherapist & intern supervisor, Hermosa Beach, CA

    Violet Oaklander, Ph.D. is a supremely gifted child psychotherapist. Through her consultation on three very different cases, Dr. Oaklander presents many of her key concepts and techniques. The viewer is given a theoretical groundwork of how to approach children in psychotherapy, as well as specific examples of expressive activities. Dr. Oaklander's expertise on child development and her innate sense of what children need is evident throughout this fine DVD.
    - Claire Mercurio, Ph.D., psychotherapist, Santa Barbara, CA



    Ventanas a Nuestros NinosGestalt Therapy with Children

    This video is available in streaming format only, directly from Purchase here: Gestalt Therapy with Children to purchase.

    Watch Gestalt child therapist Violet Oaklander in an actual counseling session with a 13-year old boy who has difficulty expressing anger.

    Expert child therapist Dr. Violet Oaklander has a knack for getting her clients to speak honestly and reveal their difficult feelings. In this video she meets with a boy who is angry with his father but unable to express it directly. Watch as she gauges the boy’s level of contact throughout the session, and masterfully provides openings for him to show cut-off parts of himself. She then collaborates to develop real-world strategies for ongoing expression of his difficult emotions. Jon Carlson and Don Keat introduce Dr. Oaklander, and facilitate an in-depth discussion of the further impact and uses of the model.

    From watching this video, you will:

    • Develop an understanding of the key concepts of Gestalt child therapy, including evaluating the child’s contact level, and helping the child identify and express emotions.
    • Gain insight into Dr. Oaklander’s therapy style and how she builds a therapeutic relationship based on the coming together of two equals.

    Learn how to apply Dr. Oaklander’s creative and projective techniques to your own work with child clients. 


    Violet Oaklander Video Set

    Three Video Sessions with Violet Oaklander, Ph. D.

    Price: $69.95

    This set of three live and unrehearsed therapy sessions illustrate a wealth of Dr. Oaklander’s techniques. Sessions are each 45-55 minutes. The DVD includes a printed study guide.

    A Boy And His Anger: A Therapy Session. This fascinating unrehearsed session shows Dr. Oaklander working with 12-year-old Abram, who has trouble controlling his temper in his day-to-day life, yet does not know how to express the deeper anger inside of himself. The session demonstrates how Dr. Oaklander uses clay with the child to help him focus on his feelings. Dr. Oaklander concludes this presentation with a brief summary of her perceptions of working with the child. Technical notes: The audio quality suffers some scratchy moments, but does not deter from the full understanding of the program. The video quality is good with some fuzzy moments.

    An Atypical Sand Tray Session - With a 13-Year-Old Boy. The sand tray is a powerful therapeutic technique widely used with adults as well as children. In this session, we see Abram, now 13, resist the traditional concept of the sand tray and find his own way of encountering this medium. Unfazed, Dr. Oaklander makes the most of the situation, meeting Abram where he chooses to be. Technical notes: This session was taped in studio. The audio and video are both good.

    The Therapy Process In Action: A Session With Carlos. This session demonstrates all the aspects of the therapy process presented in the Oaklander model of child and adolescent therapy. Conducted at a child abuse agency with the camera behind a two-way mirror, this encounter features Dr. Oaklander working with ten-year-old Carlos. You will see how she focuses on contact when necessary. She helps Carlos build the self-support required to express some of the emotions locked up deep inside him. The presentation includes an introduction and closing comments by Dr. Oaklander. Technical notes: This session was taped using a home video camera. The video quality is good - but is a bit washed out. The audio is fair, with occasional traffic noise and audio drop-out. Neither affects the full understanding of the presentation.





    Your one-year tax-deductible membership includes a quarterly electronic newsletter and periodic e-mail updates regarding the work of the Foundation.

    $25: FOF membership including newsletter subscription

    $100: FOF membership including newsletter subscription & signed copy of Windows to Our Children

    $100: FOF membership including newsletter subscription & signed copy of Hidden Treasure

    $150: FOF membership including newsletter subscription and signed copies of Windows to Our Children and Hidden Treasure

    The Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation Scholarship Fund

    The Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation Scholarship Fund aims to fulfill one of the key goals of VSOF--to provide financial assistance to students eager to learn about the Oaklander Model, but  unable to afford full fee trainings. The Fund aims to do this by bringing these students to trainings, and/or by bringing trainers to impoverished places.

    The recent VSOF scholarship granted for the Spring 2009 training in Kyrgyzstan was a dream realized, as this early VSOF goal came to fruition. The $2500 scholarship brought the Oaklander Model to nearly 40 students in a country in great need of child therapy and related services. What an amazing accomplishment!

    The VSOF Scholarship Fund aims to build on this success by capitalizing on future opportunities to send trainers to places that urgently need them and by helping students attend trainings.  Your tax-deductible contribution of any amount can help make this possible! 

    The VSOF Scholarship Committee will review all scholarship applications and trainers’ proposals and is always open for suggestions regarding how the fund can be used to help those in need.  For more information please contact Karen Fried at


    If you have questions about Violet Solomon Oaklander Foundation Store products or orders, please send an email to:

    © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Web development by Katz & Mouse & Paul Mercurio.