An author, psychologist, and award-winning ventriloquist, Susan Linn, Ed.D., is a world-renowned expert on creative play and the impact of media and commercial marketing on children. Her book, Consuming Kids has been praised in publications as diverse as The Wall Street Journal, and Mother Jones and helped launch the movement to reclaim childhood from corporate marketers. The Boston Globe called her book The Case for Make Believe “a wonderful look at how play can heal children.” Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, Today, Sixty Minutes, Dateline, The Colbert Report, and the acclaimed documentary The Corporation.

Dr. Linn was Founding Director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood from 2000-2015. She is currently Research Associate at Boston Children’s Hospital and Lecturer on Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is internationally known for her use of puppets as therapeutic tools for children. She pioneered this work at Children's Hospital Boston and the Children’s AIDS Program, where she used puppets to help children cope with illness, hospitalization, death, loss and other life challenges. She has lectured on the importance of creative play, the impact of media and marketing on children, and the use of puppetry as a therapeutic tool in venues throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Dr. Linn and her puppets appeared in several episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. She has written and appeared in a number of video programs designed to help children cope with issues ranging from mental illness to death and loss. This Secret Should Be Told, a syndicated TV program for children about sexual abuse won a coveted Action for Children’s Television, and earned Dr. Linn a New England Emmy Award. With Fred Rogers’ production company, she created the acclaimed educational video series Different and the Same: Helping Children Identify and Prevent Prejudice. Different and the Same has been used in classrooms in all 50 states and won numerous awards, including the two top prizes from the International Communication Film and Video Competition and the Media Award from the Association of Multicultural Educators.

Among other honors, Dr. Linn received an UNIMA-USA citation for excellence, a special award for puppet therapy from Puppeteers of America; A Champion of Freedom Award from the Electronic Privacy Information Center; The Creative Leadership Award from the Puppet Showplace Theater: and a Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association for her work on behalf of children.


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Dr. Susan Linn

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