Attachment-Focused Family Play Therapy
An Intervention for Children and Adolescents after Trauma
Attachment-Focused Family Play Therapy presents an essential roadmap for therapists working with traumatized youth.
Exploring trauma and attachment through a neurobiological focus, the book lays out a flexible framework for practitioners treating young clients within the context of their family relationships. Chapters demonstrate how techniques of play and expressive therapy can be integrated into work with different developmental stages, while providing the tools needed to fully incorporate the family into the healing process. The book also provides clinical examples and guidance on the ethical decision-making needed to effectively implement attachment work and facilitate positive change.
Written in an accessible style, Attachment-Focused Family Play Therapy is an important resource for mental health professionals who work with traumatized children, adolescents, and adults.
Table of Contents
Part I. 1. Rationale for an Attachment-based Family Therapy Approach Integrating Play and Expressive Arts 2. The Neurobiology of Trauma, Behavior, and Co-Regulation 3. Trauma and Relationships 4. The Nuts and Bolts of Relationships 5. Repairing Ruptures in the Attachment Relationship Part II. 6. Framework for Attachment-based Family Play Therapy 7. Guiding Principles of the Model for Implementation 8. Observational Assessment Phase 9. Safety and Engagement Phase 10. Realignment Phase 11. Attunement Phase and Termination 12. Clinical Considerations When Working with Traumatized Families
Cathi Spooner, LCSW, RPT/S, is a registered play therapy supervisor, clinical trauma specialist, and is certified in basic sand therapy. She is the founder of Renewing Hearts Counseling and Consulting and has been providing psychotherapy to children, adolescents, and their families for over 20 years.
"This book takes the mystery out of integrating play therapy with attachment and family-systems theories. It offers therapists a roadmap to understanding the neurobiology of trauma and connects how trauma affects the brain and the ability to self-regulate. This is a well-written book for mental health professionals utilizing attachment-based play therapy with children, adolescents, and families. Cathi Spooner has done an incredible job providing implementable approaches to help clients build and repair attachments." — Althea T. Simpson, LCSW, RPT-S, founder and CEO of Unicorn Life Play Therapy
"If you are a therapist working with traumatized children and their families, you must get this book! Cathi Spooner guides the reader through the entire play therapy process, using case studies, vignettes, and neuroscience to support and explain the nuances of working with this challenging population. This information speaks to new therapists, as well as seasoned clinicians, and does so in a way that is engaging and affirmative. Using up-to-date research, Cathi Spooner’s work is a gamechanger for those of us who are seeking to apply trauma-informed and empirically supported methods to help the families with whom we work. I’m grateful for clinicians such as Cathi Spooner who are willing to share their expertise and experience to expand the knowledge base for those working with this population." — Norman E. Thibault, PhD, LMFT, president, Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children (ATTACh); founding owner and CEO, Three Points Center
"Cathi Spooner masterfully integrates and presents academic research and theory using layman's terms in a way that makes for an effortless and enjoyable read! Ms. Spooner's use of creative counseling techniques affords both clinician and client the opportunity to explore challenging experiences through alternative means. This unprecedented approach to trauma and attachment is a much-needed addition in the field of counseling!" — Monica Bergandi M.Ed., resident in counseling, Bright Horizons Counseling LLC
"Cathi Spooner has embodied the essence of being a trauma-focused therapist in her book. She takes the reader on a journey through trauma, its effect on neurobiology, and the ways in which a therapist can effectively work with families and/or clients who have experienced trauma. The book describes scenarios and references direct therapeutic interventions that are helpful not only to beginners but also the most seasoned clinicians. It would be impossible to treat the whole client without understanding the dynamics of trauma and its biological impact, and the book does just that. This book is a must read, and the information in it is essential for gaining insight and empathy into the client process." — Rebecca Cottle-Makhene, LPC-S, registered play therapist supervisor; certified child and adolescent trauma professional (CATP); licensed professional school counselor