FirstPlay® Infant Massage Storytelling is for infants ages birth to toddler. Certified FirstPlay® Practitioners instruct, guide and supervise parents in the activities of the Baby Tree Hug Massage© ~ a playful touch-based story illustrated in the FirstPlay® Parent Handbook.

This play therapy model enhances parent and infant bonding and attachment. In FirstPlay® sessions, Practitioners demonstrate the storytelling movements on a babydoll while parents simultaneously practice the techniques on their infant.

FirstPlay® Kinesthetic Storytelling®, also known as “BACK Stories” (stories that can be told on a child’s back) is designed for children ages pre-school to six years. Certified FirstPlay® Practitioners use the FirstPlay® Parent Instructional Guide© to teach, direct and supervise parents how to draw and tell The Magic Rainbow Hug© and Ocean Friends Dance Under the Rainbow© stories on their children’s backs.

This play therapy model enhances parent and child bonding and attachment through the avenue of respectful and caring touch. In FirstPlay® sessions Practitioners demonstrate the storytelling movements on a back of a large stuffed animal (for example) while the parents simultaneously practice the techniques on their children’s back.

Become certified as a FirstPlay® Therapy Practitioner. FirstPlay® Therapy is a cutting-edge preventative and treatment model of intervention that evolved from the work of Viola Brody, founder of Developmental Play Therapy; and is supported by Attachment Theory; Ericksonian Play Therapy (See StoryPlay® training); infant massage literature; and research and ethics in touch.

In this five-day 36 hour certification training you will learn the techniques of FirstPlay® Infant Massage and Kinesthetic Storytelling® so that you can then integrate these methods into your own private practice or agency by teaching parents and caregivers how to perform the touch-based storytelling with their own children.

Contact Dr. Courtney to arrange for a FirstPlay® Therapy Training in your area. Learn more…


Dr. Janet Courtney is Author of

“The Magic Rainbow Hug”

The Magic Rainbow Hug© is a heartfelt interactive storybook that helps children overcome fear and anxiety through playful relaxation and joyful touch.
The story is designed to help children learn relaxation skills and methods of calming while increasing the bonds between parents (caregivers) and children.


“I am so thrilled to announce StoryPlayer Dr. Janet Courney’s newest release “The Magic Rainbow Hug” book and “The Rainbow Hug Activity Book.” Our StoryPlay community were delighted and honored to play a supportive part in bringing Janet’s vision to fruition. Internationally recognized as a talented healer and storyteller, Janet’s unwavering dedication to birthing her inspirational story will surely be a gift to the children thoughtout our world. Her new process of storytelling is a treasure for parents and professionals alike. Give yourself the Magic of a Rainbow Hug today!”

Dr. Joyce C. Mills

Founder of The StoryPlay Center

The Magic Rainbow Hug by Janet A. Courtney is a delightful book for children and parents.  The book would also be useful to professionals whose work is aimed toward helping children relax and reduce anxiety such as psychotherapists, daycare workers and massage therapists.  In addition to their reading the story adults are given instructions on how to use various means of gentle touch on children’s bodies, primarily the back, which expand on the story and feel good to most children.  For example, when the story speaks of leaves swirling in the wind the adult uses swirling motions on the child’s back.  Courtney includes an introduction, instructions and explanations that explain the value of therapeutic touch for helping children with anxiety in particular as well as other childhood problems. The book is made more charming by the addition of colorful and unique illustrations drawn by two talented 8 and 10 year old siblings.  Parents and therapists will find this book a valuable addition to promoting adult child relationships.

Louise Guerney, PhD

Director of Play and Filial Family Training, National Institute of Relationship Enhancement®

Dr. Janet Courtney, International Speaker

Dr. Courtney is available for speaking engagements
and to provide training to your agency or organization.
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Dr. Janet Courtney, International Speaker

Dr. Courtney is an internationally recognized speaker; for close to 25 years she has been invited to speak at conferences in the United States, and internationally including the Cayman Islands: Chichester & Barnsley England; Dublin, Ireland; Honolulu, Hawaii; Marrakech, Morocco; St. Petersburg, Russia, and Kiev, Ukraine.
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