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The Healing Power of Play

Working with Abused Children

Eliana Gil

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
March 15, 1991
ISBN 9780898625608
Price: $84.00
210 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
March 16, 1991
ISBN 9780898624670
Price: $34.00
210 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
April 10, 2012
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $34.00
210 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $68.00 $37.40
210 Pages
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This book describes how therapists can both facilitate constructive play therapy and intervene in posttraumatic play to help children who have been traumatized by abuse or neglect achieve a positive resolution. Traditional techniques of play therapy are reviewed for their application to this population. Throughout, numerous therapeutic aids are described to enhance the child's capacity to communicate verbally or symbolically. To help clinicians translate theory into daily practice, the book presents six detailed clinical vignettes that offer step-by-step guidelines for assessment and intervention in different situations of abuse or neglect.

“Both the novice child therapist and experienced clinician will learn abundantly from Dr. Gil's instruction about effective intervention with even the most severely neglected and abused children.”

Treating Abuse Today

“Eliana Gil occupies an unparalleled position among professionals in the child abuse field. No one has worked longer, more faithfully, and more responsibly with such a diverse array of abusive interactions.”

—Roland C. Summit, M.D.

“After reading The Healing Power of Play, child therapists from every professional background will feel better equipped to confront the enormous challenge of treating the abused child....Dr. Gil's readable guide should inspire the field and thereby benefit all of our patients.”

—Spencer Eth, MD

Table of Contents

* The Abused Child: Treatment Issues.

* The Child Therapies: Application in Work with Abused Children.

* The Treatment of Abused Children.


* Leroy: A Child Traumatized by Severe Parental Neglect.

* Johnny: A Child Traumatized by Sexual Abuse.

* Antony: A Child with Multiple Traumas.

* Gaby: A Child Traumatized by a Single Episode of Sexual Abuse.

* Laurie: A Neglected Child Traumatized by a Hospitalization.

* Sharlene: A Child Traumatized by Chronic Sexual Abuse.

* Special Issues.

About the Author

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.


Mental health professionals who work with abused children; also of interest to child protective service workers, pediatricians, clergy, and early childhood educators. Serves as a text in advanced courses on child therapy, child development, family therapy, domestic violence, or child abuse.

Course Use

The book also serves as a text for advanced courses on child therapy, child development, family therapy, domestic violence, or child abuse.