Working With Children to Heal Interpersonal Trauma
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 post-traumatic 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."
-Counselling Children and Young People
"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, PhD, RPT-S, Department of Psychology (Emeritus), Fairleigh Dickinson University
"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 traumathe 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, PhD, Counselor Education Program, University of South Florida
"Gil and her contributing authors take us on an amazing journey that captures the creative ways traumatized children find to heal when we meet them in their world, not with language, but with play. The richly detailed cases are filled with unforgettable lessons about how to help children express their private, complex experiences. The book also provides substantial support for those needing to validate the healing power of creative interventions within a trauma-informed context. We will definitely recommend this book to the thousands of professionals the Institute trains yearly. It will be useful for both new and seasoned practitioners."
-William Steele, PsyD, MSW, Director, National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children, Starr Commonwealth Institute for Training
Foreword, Lenore C. Terr
I. The Extent of the Problem and Its Impact
1. Introduction, Eliana Gil
2. A Review of Current Research on the Incidence and Prevalence of Interpersonal Childhood Trauma, Jennifer A. Shaw
3. The Role of Healthy Relational Interactions in Buffering the Impact of Childhood Trauma, Christine R. Ludy-Dobson and Bruce D. Perry
4. Children's Self-Initiated Gradual Exposure: The Wonders of Post-Traumatic Play and Behavioral Reenactments, Eliana Gil
II. Clinical Responses
5. Silent Grieving in a World without Words: A Child Witnesses His Brother's Murder, Eliana Gil
6. The Owner of a Broken Heart: The Cumulative Trauma of Surgery and Sexual Abuse, Nicole Erin Jalazo
7. A Hero's Journey: A Boy Who Lost His Parents and Found Himself, Vincent L. Pastore
8. A Tornado Disrupts the Wedding, to the Relief of the Unwilling Bride: A Girl's Quest for Healing after Sexual Abuse, Myriam L. Goldin
9. Finding the Treasure Within: Spontaneous Storytelling and the Sandplay Journey of an Emotionally Despairing Girl, Rosalind L. Heiko
10. "Stitches Are Stronger Than Glue": A Child Directs the Healing of Her Shattered Heart, David A. Crenshaw
11. Manny's Story: A Soul Ascending, Eric J. Green
12. "I Am an Artist": A Sexually Traumatized Girl's Self-Portraits in Paint and Clay, Barbara Sobol
13. The Gift of Time: Helping to Heal through Long-Term Treatment Involving Complex Trauma and Cultural Issues, Athena A. Drewes
14. "This Mommy Has No Milk!": A Neglected Child's Adaptation to Loss and Hunger, Eliana Gil
15. Play and the Transformation of Feeling: Niki's Case, Eva-Maria Simms
About the Author
Eliana Gil, PhD, is Clinical and Educational Specialist for Childhelp, Inc., in Fairfax, Virginia. She is also a partner in a private group practice, the Gil Center for Healing and Play, which provides mental health services to children and families for a variety of emotional, behavioral, and social problems, where she specializes in the treatment of traumatized children and their families. She is an adjunct faculty member at Virginia Tech's Family Therapy Department, a registered play therapy supervisor, a registered art therapist, and a licensed marriage, family, and child counselor. A well-known author, lecturer, and clinician, Dr. Gil has worked in the field of child abuse prevention and treatment for more than 35 years. She has published numerous books and videotapes on child abuse and related topics, has served on the Board of Directors of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children and the National Resource Center on Child Sexual Abuse, and is a former President of the Association for Play Therapy. Originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador, Dr. Gil is bilingual and bicultural. She consults and trains across the country and currently conducts intensive 3-day trainings through the Starbright Training Institute for Child and Family Play Therapy in northern Virginia.
Hardcover, 336 pages.