Anna Housley Juster, PhD, LICSW is a licensed child and adolescent mental health clinician, education consultant, and author with over twenty-five years of experience supporting children and families.

Anna Housley Juster, PhD, LICSW

Dr. Housley Juster began her career as a Head Start teacher and spent many years working in curriculum development across formal and informal contexts including schools, museums, libraries, and children’s educational media.

For several years, Dr. Housley Juster served as director of content at Sesame Workshop overseeing curriculum development for the Sesame Street series and product development across the brand. Building on her commitment to closing the experience gap and supporting access to play, she co-founded the U.S.-based component of the nonprofit organization Pop-Up Adventure Play, increasing children’s access to self-directed play in communities of supportive adults, and served as senior director of child development and community engagement at Boston Children’s Museum.

Today, after several years treating children and families at an outpatient community-based mental health center, Dr. Housley Juster runs a private practice combining expertise in mental health, developmental psychology, education, and play and supports teacher trainings focused on trauma-informed practices and increasing self-regulation skills in the classroom. Her first picture book, How to Train Your Amygdala (Free Spirit Press) will be released in February, 2024.


Dr. Housley Juster holds a BA in Child Development and English from Tufts University with early childhood teaching certification, an MA in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University, a PhD in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from New York University, and an MSW in Clinical Social Work from Boston College.

Mental Health Clinician

  • Independently licensed child and adolescent mental health clinician
  • Playful, strengths-based, collaborative approach
  • Consistent commitment to meeting clients and families where they are and building strong rapport with clients to support effective treatment
  • Consultation with teachers and guidance counselors as indicated
  • Evaluations and referrals to outside providers (family therapy, OT, neuropsych testing)
  • Specialty practice treating anxiety, attention, trauma, behavioral and social challenges through evidence-based practices:
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
    • Trauma-Focused CBT (TF-CBT)
    • Narrative Therapy
    • Mindfulness practices to increase self-regulation
    • Play Therapy
    • Extensive parent guidance/family support including training in the SPACE intervention (Yale Child Study Center), empirically shown to help parents reduce children’s anxiety and OCD symptoms
How To Train Your Amygdala book cover


Dr. Housley Juster has written hundreds of curricula, tips, and articles for parents and teachers across a wide range of content areas.

Her first picture book, How to Train Your Amygdala, was released in February, 2024 (Free Spirt Press) and is available on Amazon and through Barnes & Nobel.

hands on working with children and teens

Consultation & Training

Dr. Housley Juster consults with school-based student support teams and facilitates professional development training for teachers and counselors on topics including:

  • Trauma-informed practices
  • Supporting coping skills and manage children’s anxiety and behavioral challenges in the classroom
  • Psychoeducation and self-care for teachers related to brain function and behavior
  • Understanding the protective and therapeutic benefits of play to build close child-adult connections and increase children’s self-regulation skills

She has consulted with a wide range of programs including Boston Public School’s Countdown to Kindergarten and Brookline Public Schools.

Most recently, in collaboration with Lakeshore Learning and RUDC Head Start/Utah, Dr. Housley Juster created and facilitated the trauma-informed training titled: How to Train Your Amygdala: Harnessing the Power of Play to Increase Joy, Foster Trust, and Increase Self-regulation Skills in Supportive Classroom Communities.