Treating Abused Adolescents

Eliana Gil

June 1, 1996
ISBN 9781572301153
Price: $35.00
228 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
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The first book to explore the issue of abuse in adolescents both the residual effects of earlier child abuse and current or cumulative abuse this volume provides a sensitive account of how to optimize the value of therapeutic contact with this challenging and compelling population. Illustrating her presentation with case examples from her extensive clinical experience, the author shows when and how to address the abuse to help adolescents move ahead in their development.

“As often with Gil's books, this reader is left wishing she could drop into her office for discussion of a particularly challenging case. Like Gil's earlier works, this one provides a deep appreciation of the literature on abuse, child development, and therapy, combined with clearly described and well-developed therapeutic strategies, all presented with an energizing warmth and humaneness....Novice and experienced therapists alike will find this volume worth many times its modest purchase price.”


Treating Abused Adolescents clearly underscores the author's mastery of the dynamics of the problem. Eliana Gil has presented a helpful work that expands our general base of information and provides 'thoughts and ideas...about how to mitigate the pervasive negative effects of childhood and adolescent abuse.' She combines clinical experience with both systemic considerations and theories of development, attachment, and trauma....The model of treatment she proposes involves empowerment of the victim and an increase in the person's overall functioning....Step-by-step directions are presented along with an abundance of case studies to illustrate the process....Although it addresses complex matters and is appropriate for a professional and college audience, the book is sufficiently lucid to be used for high school and general readership.”

—Jerry Leismer in Science Books and Films

“Because abuse-focused therapists tend to specialize in either children or adults, adolescent abuse survivors are often neglected by clinicians. Fortunately for all concerned, Eliana Gil has written a wonderful and insightful book on treating this specific population. As usual, her writing sparkles with humanity, intelligence, and technical prowess. And, as usual, I went straight to the famous Eliana-and-the-client dialogues: no one demonstrates the nuts and bolts of (very good) therapy like Dr. Gil.”

—John Briere, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Southern California School of Medicine

“I enjoyed this book a great deal. It fills a much needed treatment niche. Adolescents are often ignored in case examples in other treatment books. Gil's multicultural case examples rang true and are an important contribution to the literature. One of the most valuable pieces is the transcripts of dialogue that are included as well.”

—William N. Friedrich, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Table of Contents

1. Adolescence and Abuse: An Overview

2. Theories of Adolescent Development

3. Current versus Cumulative Abuse of Adolescents

4. Assessment and Treatment

5. Structured Processing of Trauma

6. General Principles in Working with Adolescent Abuse Survivors

7. Treatment Modalities




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.


Psychologists, social workers, counselors, and other mental health professionals who work with troubled youth, as well as probation officers and residential treatment staff.

May serve as a text for courses dealing with child and adolescent development and child abuse.

Course Use

Useful supplementary reading for classes on family therapy, adolescence, and child development.