Featuring in-depth case presentations from master clinicians, this volume highlights the remarkable capacity of traumatized children to guide their own healing process. The book describes what posttraumatic play looks like and how it can foster resilience and coping. Demonstrated are applications of play, art, and other expressive therapies with children who have faced such overwhelming experiences as sexual abuse or chronic neglect. The contributors discuss ways to facilitate forms of expression that promote mastery and growth, as well as how to intervene when play becomes stuck in destructive patterns. They share effective strategies for engaging hard-to-reach children and building trusting therapeutic relationships.
"This is a powerful book on two levels. Its descriptions of the abuse and trauma suffered by children at the hands of those supposed to provide love and care are harrowing. At the same time, it is one of the best advocates for the use of play therapy I have read in a number of years...The clinical focus is on play as a restorative form of non-verbal communication and on play therapy as a distinctive therapeutic form. As such it should prove a useful addition to the library of those services working with traumatized and abused children, as well as to the library of those organizations involved in the training of new practitioners." - Liz Cairns, Counselling Children and Young People, March 2011, UK "The work is presented in a clinical but compassionate tone, providing accounts of incredibly moving therapy sessions, discussions of treatment, and references for further reading. It emphasizes the power of the therapeutic relationship and the change that is possible when a child is provided the time, space, and care necessary to find his or her own way forward." - Syreeta McKay, Young Minds Magazine, No. 110, February/March 2011, UK "Play therapy, the oldest and most popular form of child therapy, is widely considered by practitioners to be uniquely responsive to the needs of children who have experienced interpersonal trauma. This volume offers a wealth of information about the effective use of play-based interventions that honor children's self-healing strategies. From a renowned expert in the field, this is a valuable resource for beginning and experienced therapists who work with child victims of interpersonal trauma, such as abuse and neglect." - Charles E. Schaefer, Department of Psychology (Emeritus), Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey, USA "Gil and colleagues provide a warm and insightful description of play-based healing for traumatized children. Compelling case examples illustrate therapeutic principles such as the need to decode children's play behavior and the ways in which play facilitates natural healing processes following trauma. I highly recommend this book for clinicians working with children who have experienced interpersonal trauma - the hope and healing are heartening! As a classroom text, the book would offer students cutting-edge information and clear examples that model advanced clinical skills." - Jennifer Baggerly, Counselor Education Program, University of South Florida, USA