Play Therapy Interventions to Enhance Resilience

Edited by David A. Crenshaw, Robert Brooks, and Sam Goldstein

Hardcovere-bookprint + e-book
May 4, 2015
ISBN 9781462520466
Price: $41.00
251 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
May 4, 2015
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $41.00
251 Pages
print + e-book
Hardcover + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $82.00 $45.10
251 Pages

The importance of therapeutic play in helping children recover from adversity has long been recognized. This unique volume brings together experts on resilience, trauma, and play therapy to describe effective treatment approaches in this key area. The book begins by providing guiding principles for intervention and describing the specific properties of play that promote resilience. Subsequent chapters delve into clinical applications, including such strategies as storytelling and metaphors, sand play, art therapy, play therapy adaptations for school settings, group interventions, and the use of therapeutic writing. Rich case studies and vignettes demonstrate creative ways to bolster at-risk children's strengths and enhance their natural capacity to thrive.

This title is part of the Creative Arts and Play Therapy Series, edited by Cathy A. Malchiodi and David A. Crenshaw.

“Clinicians will discover this book inspires and supports their belief in the capacity of all people to find their way to recognition of their competencies—even in settings where the messages from others would declare otherwise.”

Play Therapy Magazine

“This breakthrough book explores the newest play therapy techniques and interventions offered by experts in the field….The book is rich with new ideas and play therapy methods to facilitate healing and wellness, while bolstering the child’s intrinsic resources, for optimal recovery and growth….If you are looking for a truly exceptional, clinically-sound, reference guide that offers unique resilience-focused applications for play therapy interventions with children, I strongly recommend this for your professional collection. Unlike other offerings in this area, this book sets itself apart by design. Far too much of the professional literature is devoted to simply discussing trauma cases. Instead, this book focuses on the more positive aspects of the therapeutic equation such as the resilience, strength, and ‘islands of competence’ in children, as well as their unbelievable optimism and spirit….This one-of-a-kind reference puts theoretical concepts into practice and will no doubt be an asset for anyone involved in play therapy and mental health interventions with children. *****”

Doody's Review Service

“What an amazing book! This book reflects the belief that all children can rebound from significant setbacks, and the best way to reach them is through their hands and their hearts, making play therapy the ideal treatment modality. Rather than seeking to ameliorate symptoms, the practitioners in this book aspire to find, nurture, and expand children's 'islands of competence.' Even play therapists who have been practicing for years will learn a great deal from the resilience perspective. Chapter 1 alone is worth the price of the entire book.”

—Maurice J. Elias, PhD, Department of Psychology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

“A timely and impressive book that guides practitioners and students to use play as a mechanism to promote resilience in children. Helping young people develop a resilient mindset will equip them with the skills necessary to overcome bullying, grief, loss, trauma, and other adversities. The chapters are all written from a strengths-based perspective. I recommend this book for courses in school psychology, child clinical psychology, school counseling, and school social work. It is an indispensable tool for graduate students learning to conduct play therapy with children and a 'must-have' addition to the bookshelf of any child clinician.”

—Susan M. Swearer, PhD, Willa Cather Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

“The volume provides readers an opportunity to see how expert play therapists foster hope and resilience in the lives of children who have experienced trauma and other adversities. It will appeal not only to seasoned clinicians with an interest in play therapy, but also to graduate students and interns. I am grateful to the expert editors and contributors for this valuable resource.”

—Mark Katz, PhD, Learning Development Services, San Diego, California

“Provides unique and valuable methods to harness the protective factors so vital for resilience. The book builds an excellent bridge between theory and practice.”

—Jack A. Naglieri, PhD, Research Professor, University of Virginia; Senior Research Scientist, Devereux Center for Resilient Children

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

1. The Power of Mindsets: Guideposts for a Resilience-Based Treatment Approach, Robert Brooks & Sam Goldstein

2. Resilience-Enhancing Factors in Play Therapy, John W. Seymour

II. Clinical Applications

3. The Use of Metaphors and Storytelling Techniques to Nurture Resilience in Children, Robert Brooks & Suzanne Brooks

4. “Dear Mr. Leprechaun”: Nurturing Resilience in Children Facing Loss and Grief, David A. Crenshaw & Jillian E. Kelly

5. Posttraumatic Play: A Robust Path to Resilience, Eliana Gil

6. Calm, Connection, and Confidence: Using Art Therapy to Enhance Resilience in Traumatized Children, Cathy A. Malchiodi

7. Utilizing Strength-Based Strategies in the Schools: A School Psychologist’s Odyssey, Steven Baron

8. Enhancing Resilience through Play Therapy with Child and Family Survivors of Mass Trauma, Risë VanFleet & Claudio Mochi

9. The Dance of Resilience and Attachment in High-Risk Mother–Infant Relationships, Stephanie Carnes & David A. Crenshaw

10. Playful Pathways to a Resilient Mindset: A Play Journey to Triumph over Adversity, Cherie L. Spehar

About the Editors

David A. Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S, is Clinical Director of the Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, New York, and Adjunct Faculty at Marist College. He has taught graduate courses in play therapy at Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University and has published widely on child and adolescent therapy, child abuse and trauma, and resilience in children. A Fellow of the American Psychological Association and of its Division of Child and Adolescent Psychology, Dr. Crenshaw has received lifetime achievement awards from the New York Association for Play Therapy and the Hudson Valley Psychological Association. He is a past chair of the board of directors of the Coalition against Sexual and Domestic Abuse and a member of the professional advisory board of the Courthouse Dogs Foundation and of the Dutchess County Task Force against Human Trafficking.

Robert Brooks, PhD, ABPP, is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and former Director of the Department of Psychology at McLean Hospital. He has lectured nationally and internationally and written extensively about such topics as resilience, psychotherapy, and positive school and work environments. Dr. Brooks has coauthored or coedited numerous books with Sam Goldstein, including Handbook of Resilience in Children, Second Edition; Raising Resilient Children; and The Power of Resilience. He has received numerous awards in recognition of his work on behalf of children and their families, especially in the area of resilience.

Sam Goldstein, PhD, is Assistant Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Utah School of Medicine and on staff at the University Neuropsychiatric Institute. He is also Clinical Director of the Neurology, Learning, and Behavior Center in Salt Lake City. Dr. Goldstein is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Attention Disorders and serves on the editorial boards of six journals. He is author or editor of more than 50 books and 100 scholarly publications, as well as several psychological tests. He has lectured to thousands of professionals and the lay public in the United States, South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe.


Steven Baron, PsyD, West Hempstead Union Free School District, West

Hempstead, New York; private practice, Massapequa, New York

Robert Brooks, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts; private practice, Needham, Massachusetts

Suzanne Brooks, PsyD, Weston Public Schools, Weston, Massachusetts

Stephanie Carnes, LMSW, Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, Poughkeepsie, New York

David A. Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S, Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie, Poughkeepsie, New York

Eliana Gil, PhD, LMFT, RPT-S, ATR, Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education, Fairfax, Virginia

Sam Goldstein, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah

Jillian E. Kelly, LCSW, Urban Health Plan, Inc., Bronx, New York

Cathy A. Malchiodi, Ph.D., ATR-BC, LPAT, LPCC, REAT, Division of Expressive Therapies, Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute, Louisville, Kentucky

Claudio Mochi, RP, RPT-S, Association Play Therapy Italia and International Academy for Play Therapy and Psychosocial Studies, Rome, Italy

John W. Seymour, PhD, LMFT, RPT-S, Department of Counseling and Student Personnel, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minnesota

Cherie L. Spehar, LCSW, CTC-S, RPT-S, Smiling Spirit Pathways, Apex, North Carolina

Risë VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC, Playful Pooch Program, Family Enhancement and Play Therapy Center, Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania


Art, play, and other creative therapists; child clinical and school psychologists; child psychiatrists; social workers; counselors; and any mental health professionals who work with trauma.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in graduate-level courses.