for Norma Y. Leben
Early Work: Norma
Yau-Chee Leben began her professional career in Hong Kong after
graduating in 1974 from the University of Chicago, School of
Social Service Administration, with a Masters Degree in Social
Service Administration. Her first position was as Youth Center
Supervisor for 13 youth centers during which time she pioneered
outreach programs for “street-wise” adolescents.
During her five years in Hong Kong, she conducted numerous leadership
and motivational workshops based on her experiences with underachieving
children. Based on her research, she authored a book in Chinese,
Motivational Workshop for Underachievers, which is
now in its second edition and third printing. In 1976, she was
selected to be a member of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons
of Hong Kong.
CPS and Treatment Supervision:
In 1979, Norma lived in Wooster, Ohio where she became Supervisor
at Wayne County Child Protective Services. For two years, she
supervised investigators and caseworkers and testified in court
for many child abuse and neglect cases. After moving to Austin,
Texas, she worked as a Treatment Supervisor for an agency providing
residential services to emotionally disturbed children. She
also was the lead counselor with an agency that coordinated
community services in a large Austin public high school.
In 1987, she founded Morning
Glory Treatment Center for Children (MGTCC) as a nonprofit corporation
licensed by the State of Texas to provide residential therapeutic
foster group home services to dual diagnosis children. As its
Executive Director and Treatment Supervisor, Norma provided treatment and supervised staff care for 40 children with ADHD and special needs over 10
years. Currently, MGTCC provides only non-residential family-child counseling, phone referrals, and play therapy consultations, workshops and public speaking.
Certifications & Honors
Norma is a Registered Play Therapy
Supervisor (RPT-S) and 16+ year member of the Association for Play Therapy.
She has been recongized with Professor Status from the International
Board of Examiners of Certified Play Therapists (CPT-P).
She is also a social worker
in Texas holding a Licensed Clinical Social Worker-Supervisor
In 1989, the Regional Network
of Children honored Norma for Exceptional Services to the Youth
of Texas. Her social work alma mater, the School of Social Service
Administration, University of Chicago, recognized her publications
in 1997 as part of a conference about Innovations in Social
Work Practice. Norma was listed in the International Who’s
Who Professional Directory in 1994 and 1995. In April 2003, she and her husband funded an Endowment for Excellence in Play Therapy Methods at the University of Texas at Austin, School of Social Work. The Leben Endowment sponsors several MSW student scholarships and the Annual Play Therapy Symposium. She currently serves on the Advisory Council of the UT School of Social Work.
On January 26, 2013, Norma was awarded the Tom Hoeffner Play Therapy Stipend Award by the Hill Country Chapter of the Texas Association for Play Therapy in acknowledgment of outstanding education, training and professional service to the community that significantly develops, promotes and advances the value of play therapy.
In 2013, Norma was chosen by the Association for Play Therapy to receive its 2013 Key Award for Public Education and Promotion. Other recipients were honored for Lifetime Achievement, Professional Education & Training, and APT Service. Recipients were honored at the October 11 Recognition and Awards Dinner during APT's 2013 Conference in Palm Springs, California.
1993, Norma compiled 21 years of her therapy techniques helping
children and families into the book Directive
Group Play Therapy that describes 60 tried-and-true
childrens games useful for therapists, teachers, counselors,
and parents. She also created the colorful
Feelings Wheel Game, a board game that facilitates
the expression of 64 feelings and emotional intelligence. Both
products were translated to Chinese and are distributed by Greenfield
Education Center in Hong Kong.
Beginning in 1995, Norma directed
the production of training videotapes including Anger
Work With Children: How to Focus, Control, and Resolve,
ADHD Kids: Engaging Attention to
Modifying Behavior (3 programs), Directive
Filial Therapy (4 programs), and Sexual
Abuse of Children: An Inside Look At Treatment.
Her newest product is called
The Smiley System For Compliance
and Responsibility Training. The concepts in this training
kit helped hundreds of parents to turn around their difficult
In addition, Greenfield
Education Center, Hong Kong publishes 40 audio CDs,
VCDs, and VHS cassettes of Norma’s Cantonese
lectures about parenting and disciplining children. Her latest
published titles are about Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and
Quotient (AQ). Click here for Norma's
resume in Chinese.
Public Speaking: Known for her enthusiasm,
experience, quick wit, and no-nonsense, pragmatic speaking style,
Norma’s Hong Kong public
lecture tour has grown in popularity every year. She returns
annually to speak to PTA’s, primary and secondary school
teachers, business leaders, social service agency staff, and
She has also presented at recent
International Society for Child and Play Therapy/Play
Therapy International conferences
Hawaii, Oregon, as well as for many Texas groups such as
Foster Family Association and school professionals
ISD, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD,
and Leander ISD
Texas school districts.
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