airleigh Dickinson University professor of Psychology Charles Schaefer is a world-renowned psychologist who has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Today Show” and “Good Morning America” and has been widely quoted and featured in other prominent media.

He is the author of more than 50 books, including Ages & Stages: A Parent’s Guide to Normal Childhood Development; How to Talk to Your Kids About Really Important Things; Toilet Training Without Tears; How to Talk to Your Teens About Really Important Things; How to Help Children with Common Problems; Helping Parents Solve Their Children’s Behavior Problems; Handbook of Play Therapy; Play Therapy with Adolescents; Play Therapy with Adults; Play Diagnosis and Assessment; and Handbook of Parent Training.

Schaefer is the co-founder and director emeritus of the International Association for Play Therapy in Fresno, Calif., and founder and co-director of the Play Therapy Training Institute in Hightstown, N.J. He also is a consulting editor of the International Journal of Play Therapy, and an editorial board member of the Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy. For the past five years, he has hosted an International Play Therapy Study Group each June at FDU’s Wroxton College in England.

His many honors include receiving the Distinguished Service Award from the International Association of Play Therapy and the Distinguished Faculty Award for Research and Scholarship from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

An FDU professor since 1985, Schaefer served for nearly 10 years as the director of the University’s Center for Psychological Services in Hackensack. He also directs FDU’s Crying Baby Clinic. He currently teaches courses on play therapy and positive psychology, which focuses, he says, “on all the good things in life including happiness, wisdom, creativity, love and courage.”

Schaefer added that his interest in positive psychology was sparked by college philosophy courses he took on wisdom and the meaning of life, his doctoral dissertation on the identification of creative talent in adolescents and “a lifelong appreciation of laughter, play and humor.”

(For those interested in learning more about positive psychology, Schaefer recommends Flourishing: Positive Psychology and the Life Well Lived, edited by Corey L. M. Keyes and Jonathan Haidt; and Positive Psychology in Practice, edited by P. Alex Linley and Stephen Joseph.)

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