Play in Family Therapy  book cover
2nd Edition

Play in Family Therapy

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ISBN 9781462526451
Published March 29, 2016 by Guilford Press
202 Pages

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Book Description

This classic volume, now completely revised, has helped tens of thousands of therapists integrate play therapy and family therapy techniques in clinical practice. Eliana Gil demonstrates a broad range of verbal and nonverbal strategies for engaging all family members--including those who are ambivalent toward therapy--and tailoring interventions for different types of presenting problems. Numerous case examples illustrate ways to effectively use puppets, storytelling, art making, the family play genogram, drama, and other expressive techniques with children, adolescents, and their parents. Gil offers specific guidance for becoming a more flexible, creative practitioner and shows how recent advances in neuroscience support her approach. Photographs of client artwork are included.

New to This Edition
*Incorporates 20 years of clinical experience and the ongoing development of Gil's influential integrative approach.
*All-new case material.
*Discusses how current brain research can inform creative interventions.
*Heightened focus on personal metaphors, complete with detailed suggestions for exploring and processing them.

Table of Contents

Foreword, Matthew D. Selekman
1. The Rationale for Integrating Play and Family Therapy, Catherine Ford Sori with Eliana Gil
2. Obstacles and Opportunities in Utilizing Family Play Therapy, with Catherine Ford Sori
3. The Development of Clinical Creativity for Use in Family Play Therapy, with Lynn B. Hadley
4. Goldilocks's Peaceful Protest: The Use of Puppets and Storytelling
5. The Wolf Who Wanted to Be King of the World: The Use of Puppets and Storytelling
6. The Shark with a Heart of Gold: A Family Aquarium
7. The Sea Serpent Rises from the Sea: A Family Scribble Drawing Facilitates a Teen's Coming Out
8. The Owl Spreads His Wings: The Family Play Genogram Comes to Life
9. Love Leads the Way: When Clarity Emerges in a Couple's Scribble Drawing
10. "What's That Guy Doing in My Mouth"?: A Shark Story Illustrates the Use of Family Artwork in Assessing Family Dynamics
11. "Take Me to Your Leader": The Use of Drama Therapy Techniques to Provoke Family Change
12. Epilogue

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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.


“Every family and child therapist should read this book! Gil is the most creative family play therapist and teacher I have ever known. This second edition is the culmination of her career spent working in the trenches. She has translated her ability into a highly readable and useful guide that is straightforward and clear without oversimplifying issues, which takes genius. This book will be indispensable for any therapist interested in helping families--which nearly always requires working with children--and vice versa. Gil offers a brilliant summary of the roots of family play therapy and describes her fantastic work with family members to transform their problems and find imaginative solutions.”--Monica McGoldrick, LCSW, PhD (h.c.), Director, Multicultural Family Institute, Highland Park, New Jersey

"In the second edition of her pioneering book on family play therapy, Gil has greatly amplified her unique contribution to the field. Gil stands alone in her masterful blend of solid theory; creativity; and spirited, playful engagement with families. The use of metaphor is one of the special gifts of both the author and this book. It features compelling illustrations of a wide range of clinically astute interventions that facilitate secure attachments in families. This positive, hopeful book will be treasured by clinicians and will ignite further enthusiasm for Gil's integrative treatment model."--David A. Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S, Clinical Director, Children's Home of Poughkeepsie, New York

"This book has been a valuable resource for me in clinical practice, and for many years has been a required text in the play therapy courses I teach. The second edition provides a number of important updates. Therapists working with children, teens, and their families will benefit from Gil's thoughtful, integrative approach."--John W. Seymour, PhD, LMFT, RPT-S, Department of Counseling and Student Personnel, Minnesota State University, Mankato
-The techniques suggested are very specific so that the reader could easily integrate them into family sessions after simply reading the chapter. The activities are also quite flexible, allowing the clinician to alter or modify them to suit the needs of the family….Given that any therapeutic work with children typically includes some level of parental involvement, this book may have broader appeal than to just the clinician who identifies as a family therapist. Even if the primary emphasis is on individual play therapy, clinicians may enjoy occasionally adding some simple family techniques and this book certainly offers resources to do that….Offers effective ideas, resources, and specific interventions for integrating play into therapeutic work with children.--Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 5/31/2017ƒƒProvides the reader with expert guidance for the use of play therapy techniques in work with families and their young children. Case examples are alive and instructive. (on the first edition)--Families in Society, 9/1/1996ƒƒProvides clinicians with information that will effectively help them when working with children and their families. It is certainly a book worth reading and utilizing. (on the first edition)--Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 4/3/2014ƒƒFor child clinicians who engage in play with children individually, this text provides important tools for overcoming barriers that may have made family therapy seem difficult or unworkable at times. (on the first edition)--AFTA Newsletter, 4/3/2014ƒƒEliana Gil, a master in play therapy in the context of family therapy, is an internationally acclaimed family and play therapist. Her trainings in play therapy are considered among the best ways to learn to work with creative arts in the field of family therapy. This book is as useful to beginning therapists as it is to experienced clinicians who want to know more about integrating play therapy in their work with families….This is a masterful work from a master in the field—a must-read for students in family therapy as well as clinicians working with children as well as adults.--Doody's Review Service, 2/26/2015