Termination Challenges in Child Psychotherapy

Eliana Gil and David A. Crenshaw

Hardcovere-bookprint + e-book
October 2, 2015
ISBN 9781462523177
Price: $31.00
221 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
October 14, 2015
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $31.00
221 Pages
print + e-book
Hardcover + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $62.00 $34.10
221 Pages
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Ending therapy in an appropriate and meaningful way is especially important in work with children and adolescents, yet the topic is often overlooked in clinical training. From leading child clinicians, this much-needed book examines the termination process—both for brief and longer-term encounters—and offers practical guidance illustrated with vivid case material. Tools are provided for helping children and families understand termination and work through associated feelings of loss and grief. Challenges in creating positive endings to therapy with children who have experienced trauma and adversity are given particular attention. Several reproducible forms can be downloaded and printed from the companion website in a convenient 8½“ x 11” size. The companion website also features nine full-color figures.

Termination Challenges in Child Psychotherapyis a well-crafted book….Especially for children and youth who have experienced trauma, having the benefit of a termination process with their therapist that is planned, organized, and understood is crucial for promoting a corrective emotional experience….The book carefully examines termination through a variety of case examples that illuminate how it can be woven into the fabric of the therapeutic relationship, rather than addressed only at the end….The text is a solid addition to a therapist’s library….The book also includes a variety of goals and practical strategies to be used during the termination process, all of which can be applied and adapted readily. Termination Challenges in Child Psychotherapyprovides valuable information on an often-overlooked aspect of the therapeutic process, and it deserves our attention.”

Smith College Studies in Social Work

“The two authors have more than 80 years’ clinical experience between them of working with abused and traumatized children and families, and write about how to integrate the crucial work of endings into therapy….The book is practical, well researched, and clinically insightful. Each nugget of information, each strategy offered, and every point of view is illustrated with vivid case material….I highly recommend this book to all counselors working with children and young people, and would suggest it should be required reading for trainees.”

BACP Children and Young People

“Wow! This book will grab you! Gil and Crenshaw teach by openly sharing their experiences of emotionally impactful terminations, and in the process you will gain insights into your own clinical work. The authors offer an 'up close and personal' look at children's pain, and their own. This is unique reading, a powerful book that sets a new standard. Clinicians will want to return to this book again and again as they struggle with termination issues.”

—Garry L. Landreth, EdD, Regents Professor Emeritus, Department of Counseling, University of North Texas

“Research on the centrality of relationships in human development is often overlooked in child psychotherapy, in favor of emphasizing discrete techniques. Those who read this timely work will gain a deeper understanding of the value of the therapeutic relationship for child clients and the need to create successful terminations. With thoughtfulness and clinical wisdom, Gil and Crenshaw show us how to integrate the crucial work of termination into treatment.”

—Daniel Hughes, PhD, private practice, Annville, Pennsylvania

“Termination in child psychotherapy—particularly in relation to the use of expressive techniques—has received scant attention in the literature. Gil and Crenshaw address this topic in a practical and readable manner, combining research findings with personal experiences and case studies. This book is an important addition to the libraries of practicing clinicians and academic training programs.”

—Daniel S. Sweeney, PhD, LMFT, LPC, RPT-S, Professor of Counseling and Director, Northwest Center for Play Therapy Studies, George Fox University

Table of Contents

1. Termination as a Necessary and Useful Closure of the Formal Therapy Relationship

2. Open-Door Terminations: A Developmentally Sensitive Approach

3. The Revolving Door of Managed Care

4. Premature Termination

5. Unique Issues in Termination in Child Therapy

6. Countertransference Issues

7. Critical Goals and Specific Strategies for Successful Termination

8. Case Studies of Failures and Successes in the Termination Process

About the Authors

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.

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.


Clinicians working with 2 to 18-year-olds, including child clinical psychologists; art, play, and other creative therapists; social workers; counselors; and child psychiatrists.

Course Use

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