Helping Abused and Traumatized Children: Integrating Directive Nondirective Approaches

By Eliana Gil

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.

Participants will:

  1. Learn how to build strong relationships with young clients who have experienced abuse, as well target trauma-related symptomatology when a child is unable or unwilling to “talk about it.”
  2. Become familiar with an integrative treatment model that combines play and other expressive therapies with elements of cognitive-behavioral and family therapy.
  3. Learn how to draw on strengths of diverse approaches in tailoring play therapy to each child’s unique needs.
  4. Learn effective ways of involving parents and siblings in the play therapy process, as well as how to address special challenges such as post-traumatic play and dissociation.
  5. Explore four case studies that show how play, art, sand tray and other nonverbal and symbolic techniques enable children to externalize and process overwhelming experiences in a nonthreatening way, as well as how cognitive and behavioral procedures can help children deal with distressing thoughts, emotions and behaviors on a more verbal, rational level.