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The Healing Power of Play: Working with Abused Children

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This book describes how therapists can both facilitate constructive play therapy and intervene in posttraumatic play to help children who have been traumatized by abuse or neglect achieve a positive resolution. Traditional techniques of play therapy are reviewed for their application to this population. Throughout, numerous therapeutic aids are described to enhance the chi This book describes how therapists can both facilitate constructive play therapy and intervene in posttraumatic play to help children who have been traumatized by abuse or neglect achieve a positive resolution. Traditional techniques of play therapy are reviewed for their application to this population. Throughout, numerous therapeutic aids are described to enhance the child's capacity to communicate verbally or symbolically. To help clinicians translate theory into daily practice, the book presents six detailed clinical vignettes that offer step-by-step guidelines for assessment and intervention in different situations of abuse or neglect.


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This book describes how therapists can both facilitate constructive play therapy and intervene in posttraumatic play to help children who have been traumatized by abuse or neglect achieve a positive resolution. Traditional techniques of play therapy are reviewed for their application to this population. Throughout, numerous therapeutic aids are described to enhance the chi This book describes how therapists can both facilitate constructive play therapy and intervene in posttraumatic play to help children who have been traumatized by abuse or neglect achieve a positive resolution. Traditional techniques of play therapy are reviewed for their application to this population. Throughout, numerous therapeutic aids are described to enhance the child's capacity to communicate verbally or symbolically. To help clinicians translate theory into daily practice, the book presents six detailed clinical vignettes that offer step-by-step guidelines for assessment and intervention in different situations of abuse or neglect.

30 review for The Healing Power of Play: Working with Abused Children

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kellie Kuempel

    Really great book with lots of case examples!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Though a little outdated, this book was really insightful and well written! The case studies were fascinating to read and I feel much more equipped to utilize play in my practice now. Reading this got me really excited to set up my own playroom and learn more about play therapy. :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kim Zarins

    I'm not a therapist, but anyone who cares about kids will appreciate this book. Play therapy sounds like such a humane way for kids to explore feelings that are too much for words, at least initially. I think what I'll come away with is (1) that kids do communicate what is going on in their lives, but they do so with actions (behavior, play) rather than words, and (2) that play alone is not enough for a child to work through a trauma, but rather (3) that it's the job of the therapist to pay atte I'm not a therapist, but anyone who cares about kids will appreciate this book. Play therapy sounds like such a humane way for kids to explore feelings that are too much for words, at least initially. I think what I'll come away with is (1) that kids do communicate what is going on in their lives, but they do so with actions (behavior, play) rather than words, and (2) that play alone is not enough for a child to work through a trauma, but rather (3) that it's the job of the therapist to pay attention to what kid's are doing, and then intervene by putting language out there for the kids, and then, when the child is ready, do some of the hard work of connecting play to intolerable emotions/experiences. I was so blown away and saddened by what had happened to these young children, and so amazed that they chose toys that spoke to their particular needs, and amazed too how the therapist was able to help them see how they can find a resolution and move forward. Really heavy but important material.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Greta

    Eliana Gil does a thorough exploration of play therapy with children in her book, The Healing Power of Play. The stories are hard to read and easy to cry over, but sound true when the play therapy is described in detail a a remedy. There is hope of comfort for children who have experienced intense pain.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    An excellent book on working with traumatized children.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Woods

    Great book to re-read. Always relevant.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I first read this book as an undergrad when I was writing my Senior Thesis on working with children of Domestic Violence. I recently read it again, or, parts of it, when I started my work as a school based therapist. This book is great at helping to understand the meaning and the metaphor behind kids' play and drawings, a must for anyone working with children therapeutically. It current sits on my desk at work for a quick reference.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ruby Ann

    This is the book I would recommend to anyone who is curious about play therapy. I like that Gil offer a concise history and explanation of the different theories and practices that inform play therapy. Her explanation of the difference between directive and non-directive play therapy is especially helpful. The case presentations at the end show how the theory can be best applied in therapeutic sessions. From now on, I know I'll be thinking "WWEGD?" (What Would Eliana Gil Do?)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    A good how-to read for the burgeoning clinical psychotherapist who doesn't know what the hell to do, or where to begin, should they have a child client who has been a victim of abuse. The reader will encounter a plethora of case examples and receive a solid grounding in "what to look for" when scanning for potential child abuse.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mindy

    It took me months to finish this because I got bored halfway through. For someone who is familiar with play therapy, the first part is too general and unhelpful. I regained interest in the second half for the case studies.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Great refresher in play therapy strategies. Nicely organized research, good play tips, materials suggestions and some case studies that elucidate possibilities while in session with kids who have suffered complex trauma.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laurelina

    Gil is a pioneer in Play Therapy techniques especially dealing with the non-directives forms of therapy. I thought this book was interesting especially for those that are looking to learn more about play and how it could help traumatized children project thier true potential.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    Really great for anyone working with kids. Especially Social Workers. Clinical examples are very real,but really great learning opportunities.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Pretty good. Read it for class. Has some basic info about play therapy with abused children, then several case studies. Most of these were pretty depressing, yet hopeful.

  15. 5 out of 5

    krissy

    Helpful. Good case studies.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joan Friedrich

    Highly recommended for counselors/social workers/psychologists intending to provide play therapy for children.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ally

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alison Lanter

  19. 5 out of 5

    xXRossiya AruXx

  20. 4 out of 5

    T.D. Whittle

  21. 5 out of 5

    Janeen

  22. 5 out of 5

    Justin Leenhouts

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  24. 5 out of 5

    Erika

  25. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Ward

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer C Reidell

  27. 4 out of 5

    ANNA MAY L. GAKO

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Enneking

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jessica F

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