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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Play Therapy

A Handbook Of Play Therapy With Aggressive Children by David A. Crenshaw, John B. Mordock (Jason Aronson: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers) This book is the most comprehensive and detailed compilation of specific and practical techniques available for child and play therapists to draw on in the treatment of aggressive children. Written by two authors with a combined experience of over 50 years in the residential treatment of severely aggressive and often traumatized children. The book will be invaluable to new as well as seasoned child practitioners because of the broad range of the interventions and the clear rationale that guides their use. The chapters cover the nuts and bolts of play therapy with this extremely challenging clinical population, including the therapeutic alliance, aims of play therapy with aggressive children, setting limits on destructive, and obtrusive behaviors, typical play themes of aggressive children, developing distancing and displacement through playful actions and through teaching, modeling, and structuring action play. Other chapters cover: creating more mature defenses! and calming strategies, the role of interpretation, elementary and advanced concepts; spontaneous drawings as a bridge to fantasy play, specific drawing techniques to create access to the inner world of children, teaching and modeling pro-social skills with special emphasis on empathy, teaching the language of feelings, facilitating affect expression and modulation, facilitating contained re-enactment of trauma, helping children to mourn tangible as well as intangible, unacknowledged and invisible losses. Later chapters cover: the therapeutic process and techniques to facilitate termination. The authors introduce the "Play Therapy Decision Grid", which is a creative and original way to guide the therapist into the levels of therapy best suited for the child at any given point based on the child's resources and the anxiety engendered by the therapy.

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