Helping Abused and Traumatized Children : Integrating Directive and Nondirective Approaches book cover
1st Edition

Helping Abused and Traumatized Children
Integrating Directive and Nondirective Approaches

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ISBN 9781609184742
Published May 5, 2011 by Guilford Press
254 Pages

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Book Description

Presenting an integrative model for treating traumatized children, this book combines play, art, and other expressive therapies with ideas and strategies drawn from cognitive-behavioral and family therapy. Eliana Gil demonstrates how to tailor treatment to the needs of each child by using both directive and nondirective approaches. Throughout, practical clinical examples illustrate ways to target trauma-related symptomatology while also helping children process painful feelings and memories that are difficult to verbalize. The book 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.

Table of Contents

I. The Context for Clinical Work
1. Basic Principles in Working with Abused and Traumatized Children
2. Guidelines for Integrated Assessments
3. Guidelines for Integrated Treatment
4. Expressive Therapies
5. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
6. Family Therapy and Family Play Therapy
7. Special Issues: Posttraumatic Play and Problems of Dissociation
II. Four Case Illustrations
8. Scotty, the Castle, and the Princess Guard
9. Carla's Search for Her Lost Mother
10. Danger in the Backyard
11. The Witch, the Baby, and the Bug, Sarah Stoudt Briggs

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Eliana Gil, PhD, is founding partner of the Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education, a private group practice in Fairfax, Virginia. She is also Director of Starbright Training Institute for Child and Family Play Therapy. Dr. Gil has worked in the field of child abuse prevention and treatment since 1973. A licensed marriage, family, and child counselor; an approved marriage and family therapy supervisor; a registered art therapist; and a registered play therapy supervisor, she is a former President of the Association for Play Therapy, which honored her with its Lifetime Achievement Award. She is the author of The Healing Power of Play, Helping Abused and Traumatized Children, and Play in Family Therapy, Second Edition, among many other publications. Originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador, Dr. Gil is bilingual and bicultural.


"In this book, Eliana Gil skillfully shows how a well-selected repertoire of methods can be flexibly combined and adapted to facilitate the successful treatment of traumatized children. Through excellent, detailed case examples, she demonstrates ways to individualize treatment by attending carefully to the personal meanings and experiences of each child. The cases will be of benefit and interest to professionals experienced in working with children, as well as to students in all of the mental health disciplines. This is an excellent work."--Kathleen Nader, DSW, Austin, Texas
"What a refreshing book! In the age of managed care, Gil provides a clear and compelling argument for the importance of experience, compassion, and insight. Clinicians know that each child is unique, and a flexible, multidimensional approach to healing is what we need to be able to provide. Gil discusses how she has drawn from various schools of thought and therapeutic models to build a clinical workshop with many tools, and how she has learned to use the right tool at the right time to help traumatized children. I highly recommend this book to anyone working with children."--Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD, Senior Fellow, The ChildTrauma Academy; Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
"Gil artfully combines her own experiences as a play therapist with contemporary research findings to provide this practical, interesting guide. Beautifully told accounts of play therapy with young trauma survivors illustrate this thoughtful treatment approach, which integrates cognitive-behavioral, expressive, and family therapies. For practitioners as well as students, this book provides a helpful framework for individualizing treatment to fit the unique needs of each child."--Janine Shelby, PhD, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles
"Gil brings more than 30 years of her rich and always evolving clinical wisdom, practice, and experience to this book. She offers us a truly timely and welcome overview of her insights on how to best help abused and traumatized children...Her approach is refreshingly integrative--a seamless blend of cognitive-behavioral therapies with interventions drawn from family, play, and psychodynamic modalities. The overarching emphasis is on the child's uniqueness, inner resources, and situational circumstances. Not only does she provide a sound theoretical context for each of the techniques she describes, but she also provides practical, detailed guidelines and extensive case illustrations as well. A must read for all child therapists!"--Leo Goldberger, PhD, Department of Psychology (Emeritus), New York University

"Gil's approach extends beyond the mere integration of therapeutic modalities to focus additionally on the integration of empirically validated treatment approaches with techniques that have not received empirical support for their effectiveness....Gil provides useful practical guidelines, general principles, and goals for both assessment and intervention using the integrated approach model. The author also describes the expressive therapy techniques in such rich detail that the reader has an excellent understanding of the potential power of these therapeutic tools in their most nuanced form....The detailed case examples included in each chapter as well as the four in-depth case studies presented at the end of the volume bring the author's therapeutic approach to life."--PsycCRITIQUES

"I recommend the book for those working with sexually abused and traumatized children. It would also be valuable for many social workers to increase their understanding of the need to separate play as an assessment tool and as a therapy to heal, and the appropriate sharing of information."--Children Now

"Serves to assist the therapist who desires to be fluent with multiple theories and approaches, while always respecting the uniqueness of each individual client and his/her family."--The Canadian Art Therapy Association Journal

"Dr. Gil's knowledge, talent, and relentless compassion for the abused child is evident....I find Dr. Gil's work inspirational, practical, and theoretically sound. Her book provides an analytical basis for tailoring individual treatment plans and illustrates a balanced approach to personal care. It is my opinion that all professionals engaged with children impacted by any form of abuse and trauma must have this invaluable resource at their disposal."--Child and Family Journal


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