About Me

Shelly Zantkeren

Shelly Zantkeren

"Life is like a game of cards; flipping a single card is enough to change your life"

Hello, my name is Shelly Zantkeren. Thank you for taking the time to hear the story behind Playing CBT. As far back as I can remember I have always loved to play and use my imagination. I would invent new games every day or change the rules so that my friends and I would experience more of a challenge, giving us a greater thrill and interest in the game.

When it was time for me to decide what profession  to choose, I chose to become a professional therapist and specialized in children. I went on to complete my master's degree in educational counseling and applied educational psychology.

Over the years, while serving as a therapist in different settings, I noticed that the best way to get children to open up to me and share their inner world was always through playing, arts and crafts or other fun activities.

I was very happy to discover that, without even having the intention to do so, I had found a way to combine two of my greatest passions - therapy and creating games. With great enthusiasm, I started developing games and writing books. In fact, I was surprised at the speed and ease with which children, adolescents and parents engaged with my games, collaborated with enthusiasm and improved from session to session.

When I realized what I had made and gained, I decided that I couldn’t keep my games and tools to myself and so I turned them into accessible, simple and practical products for anyone seeking a bridge to the emotional world of children in therapy - therapists, counselors, teachers and others.

This is how Playing CBT was conceived along with many other products that currently help therapists to teach children how to  better cope with their emotions in an atmosphere of fun and games.

Among my products:

  • The Colorful Thoughts Box - a children's book dealing with fear of separation.
  • It's All About Me - a set for easy and practical emotional regulation.
  • Mood Diary - a tool to help children identify emotions.
Over the years, I continued my studies and participated in many training programs that enhanced my professional knowledge and experience, and allowed me to further develop and improve my products with additional subjects, tools and means of illustration.

Among the courses I took:
  • Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy - CBT - Specialized in children with difficulties in emotional regulation and parental guidance.
  • Biofeedback - stage A and B - certified practitioner.
  • Mindfulness for children - at the Muda Institute, IDC Herzliya.
  • ADHD Coaching - a two-year program at the Tel Aviv University.
  • NLP - practitioner.
  • EFT - Emotion Focus Therapy - the Center for Integrative Psychotherapy at IDC Herzliya.
  • Schema Therapy for adults - stages 1 and 2 - the Center for Schema Therapy.
  • Schema Therapy for children - stages 1 and 2 - the Center for Children's Schema Therapy.

At present, along with the development of additional therapeutic tools and still with a lot of passion
  • I continue my integrative therapy practice training therapists.
  • giving lectures in psychotherapy schools.
  • guiding parents.
  • facilitating mindfulness groups and individuals.

    All the while being a mother of 3 beautiful children who never cease to experience emotions and fill me with great joy and emotions each and every day.

    It's important to note that children's games are not just games, but a matter of outmost importance at this point in their lives." Michel de Montaigne