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The Healing Power of Play: Working with Abused Children
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 ...more
Paperback, 210 pages
Published March 16th 1991 by The Guilford Press
(first published March 15th 1991)
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Psychological Treatment Child Abuse & Incest Survivors
50 books — 34 voters
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Though a little outdated, this book was really insightful and well written!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. :)
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 ...more
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.
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.
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?)
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.
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.