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Helping Abused and Traumatized Children

Helping Abused and Traumatized Children
Eliana Gil
New York : The Guilford Press, 2006
RJ507 .A29 G552 2006

Children who have been traumatized by sexual abuse or other maltreatment may deal with their painful feelings and memories in many different ways. How can a therapist build strong relationships with these vulnerable young clients? What is the best way to target trauma-related symptomatology when a child is unable or unwilling to "talk about it?" This highly practical book presents an integrative treatment model that combines play and other expressive therapies with elements of cognitive-behavioral and family therapy. Written with wisdom and empathy by master clinician Eliana Gil, the book demonstrates how to draw on the strengths of diverse approaches in tailoring therapy to each child's needs.

Grounded in current knowledge about trauma, chapters spell out basic principles of intervention and provide guidelines for assessment and treatment planning. Gil uses a wealth of clinical material to show how play, art, sand tray, and other nonverbal and symbolic techniques can enable children to externalize and process overwhelming experiences in a nonthreatening way. At the same time, she emphasizes the value of cognitive and behavioral procedures for dealing with distressing thoughts, emotions, and behaviors on a more verbal, rational level. The nuts and bolts of the involving parents and siblings in therapy are addressed, and insights are offered into such special challenges as posttraumatic play and dissociation. The volume concludes with four in-depth cases that bring to life the unique situation of each child and family, the decision making process of the therapist, and the applications of developmentally informed, creative, and flexible interventions.

Attuned to the complexities of real-world clinical practice, this timely book will enhance the skills of all mental health professionals working with children and families, including child and school psychologists, social workers, play and art therapists, counselors, family therapists, and psychiatrists. It will serve as an invaluable text for graduate students and trainees in these fields.

Quoted from dustjacket.