Expressive therapy promotes children's capacity to heal from early trauma by helping them process painful experiences over time at progressively more mature levels of understanding. Relying on excellent coping skills that have helped them survive, children in therapy are often invested in not talking due to the highly defended nature of their problems, or perhaps the need to protect a parent through silence. Alternative means of expression are often necessary. Dr. Klorer's work allows children to communicate intense feelings in ways that are natural to them, through art and play, not solely by verbalization.
Children whose trust has been repeatedly violated are not easy to work with, even for experienced clinicians. Establishing a safe place where they feel free to express and to work on what has happened to them is a challenge, met admirably by Dr. Klorer. Using the nonverbal modalities or art, movement, sand, and dramatic play, she engages each youngster in a unique healing process. Dr. Klorer's lively descriptions reveal a sensitivity to the child's need to maintain protective defenses, while working through as much of the trauma as possible at a symbolic level. Her child therapy is supported by her equally empathic work with parents. All clinicians working with children will learn from and be inspired by this book. -- Judith A. Rubin, Ph.D., A.T.R.-B.C., H.L.M., University of Pittsburgh; author, Child Art Therapy This insightful and articulate book fills a gap in the literature on working with children through the expressive modality of art. Dr. Klorer writes in an engaging style that serves as an invitation to therapists to step beyond verbal therapy into a world of creative and accessible approaches to help children resolve trauma and loss. She brings the therapeutic relationship to life through powerful cases that guide the reader's understanding of how art and play activities allow children to express their inner worlds, an essential component of healing. This is a comprehensive and sensitively written book that should be on the shelf of every clinician who works with traumatized children. -- Cathy A. Malchiodi, A.T.R., L.P.A.T., L.P.C.C., director, Institute for the Arts & Health, Salt Lake City, Utah; author, Understanding Children's Drawings For children who have been abused and traumatized, self-expression through drawings and other creative pursuits may be the only means of conveying the complexities of their painful emotions and unspoken family secrets. Art becomes a means of communication and the symbolism used creates opportunities for positive outcomes. Dr. Klorer describes children's resilience and demonstrates interventions that are both impactful and practical. Through the use of enthralling stories and illustrations, the process of expression unfolds and assists the children to experience feelings of empowerment. This book is truly a treasure trove of artistic ideas that provide child therapists with clinical tools that work. -- Gerald D. Oster, Ph.D., University of Maryland Medical School; co-author, Clinical Uses of Drawings