Engaging Boys in Treatment: Creative Approaches to the Therapy Process, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Engaging Boys in Treatment

Creative Approaches to the Therapy Process, 1st Edition

Edited by Craig Haen


346 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Traditional therapy can often be an off-putting experience for boys as it is in direct opposition to the ways they generally interact and connect with others. This book explores a variety of creative approaches that professionals can use to enhance the clinical experience and better reach their young male clients. Chapters discuss the theory behind and implementation of various creative approaches to therapy with boys, such as play therapy, including sports, movement, and gross-motor activity; animal-assisted therapy; the use of video games and computers; the use of superheroes in role play, metaphor, and play therapy; and art therapy. Attention is also given to methods for working with several subgroups of boys that require specialized treatment approaches, including gender variant and sexual minority boys and boys with ADHD. The first book of its kind, mental health professionals will find this a comprehensive and highly valuable text to help them understand, help, and support boys and their development.


"My favorite books are those that challenge my structured beliefs, stretch my comfort zone, ignite my curiosity, and elicit actions and reactions! Such is Haen’s new edited book on therapy with boys. Chapter after chapter there are insights, guidance, and creative ways of inviting youngsters to become invested in their own therapy process. This is a great compilation of topics from an array of smart, experienced, and gifted professionals. I learned a lot, I felt inspired, and I can’t wait to implement some of the innovative ideas in my work." Eliana Gil, PhD, Gil Center for Healing and Play, Virginia, USA

"Boys are fantastic in their variety. Engaging Boys in Treatment is equally magnificent through timely and creative reconsiderations of therapeutic approaches to boyhood's multiplicity." Ken Corbett, PhD, author, Boyhoods: Rethinking Masculinities

"Masses of innovative ideas, stacks of references for further exploration, a brilliant book." - Play for Life, Summer 2011

",,,useful to all counsellors and psychotherapists trying to engage boys in treatment. As well as offering interesting suggestions and ideas for gaining the trust of boys, the book also examines some interesting theoretical contexts surrounding various problems and dilemmas, which I found informative and helpful." - Judith Sonnenberg, Counselling Children and Young People

'This volume, and indeed the whole series, is a valuable addition to an important and ongoing depate. At a time when parents and politicians alike are demonising the young as 'hoodie' wearing, binge drinking looters, and self righteously engaging in rhetoric about 'moral decay' it is as important as ever that efforts continue to be made to understand children in ways which are playful, accepting, curious and empathic…[the book] is exploratory, discursive and thought-provoking." - John Robertson, Play Therapy

Table of Contents

Part I: Laying the Ground. Haen, Boys and Therapy: The Need for Creative Reformulation. Crenshaw, Barker, Depathologizing Masculine Strivings in Individual Psychotherapy with Boys. Malekoff, Principles and Practice for Strengths-based Group Work with Boys. Part II: Creative Approaches. Harvey, Physical Play with Boys of All Ages. Fine, Incorporating Animal-assisted Interventions in Therapy with Boys at Risk. Austin, Engaging At-risk Adolescent Boys Using Computers as a Therapeutic Medium. Haen, The Therapeutic Use of the Superhero in the Treatment of Boys. Cruz, Breaking Through with Art: Creative Art Therapy Approaches for Working with At-risk Boys. Part III: Special Populations. Currie, Doing Anger Differently: Working Creatively with Angry and Aggressive Boys. Grönlund, Renck, Body-based Treatment Approaches for Young Boys Diagnosed with ADHD. Creeden, Bergman, Attunement is an Experiential Verb: Treating Issues of Attachment and Self-regulation in Young Males with Sexual Behavior Difficulties. Caldwell, Mincy, Klempin, Rafferty, De Loney, Strengthening Bonds Between Non-resident African American Fathers and Sons as a Way to Reduce or Prevent Youth Risky Behaviors. Moore, Beauregard, Creative Approaches to Working with Gender Variant and Sexual Minority Boys.

About the Editor

Craig Haen, MA, RDT, CGP, LCAT is Assistant Clinical Director for Andrus Children’s Center, in Yonkers, NY, and has a private practice working with children, adolescents, adults and families in White Plains. He serves as Adjunct Faculty at Manhattanville College where he oversees the Concentration in Drama Therapy and is co-chair of the American Group Psychotherapy Association’s Child and Adolescent Special Interest Group.

About the Series

The Routledge Series on Counseling and Psychotherapy with Boys and Men

The Routledge Series on Counseling and Psychotherapy with Boys and Men includes books devoted to the process of helping boys and men in counseling and psychotherapy. Through his many roles as a professor of psychology at Penn State Harrisburg, a fellow and former president of Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity (SPSMM), and a national leader regarding the psychology of boys, men and masculinity, Dr. Mark Kiselica serves as the editor of the series, which addresses a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Counseling gay boys and men
  • Addictions counseling with boys and men
  • Helping older men
  • Couples counseling with men
  • Counseling gifted boys
  • Assisting men with the transition to fatherhood
  • Helping men with emotional intimacy
  • Counseling boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Counseling boys and men from different racial and ethnic backgrounds
  • Counseling aggressive boys

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Child & Adolescent
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health