Healing Child and Family Trauma through Expressive and Play Therapies: Art, Nature, Storytelling, Body & Mindfulness (Hardcover)

Healing Child and Family Trauma through Expressive and Play Therapies: Art, Nature, Storytelling, Body & Mindfulness By Janet A. Courtney, PhD, RPT-S Cover Image

Healing Child and Family Trauma through Expressive and Play Therapies: Art, Nature, Storytelling, Body & Mindfulness (Hardcover)


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Healing assessments and interventions from disparate areas of knowledge such as art, nature, and storytelling.

There are many ways to help children and families heal from trauma. Leaning on our ancestral wisdom of healing through play, art, nature, storytelling, body, touch, imagination, and mindfulness practice, Janet A. Courtney helps the clinician bring a variety of practices into the therapy room.

This book identifies seven stages of therapy that provide a framework for working with client’s emotional, cognitive, somatic, and sensory experiences to heal from trauma. Through composite case illustrations, practitioners will learn how to safely mitigate a range of trauma content, including complicated grief, natural disaster, children in foster care, aggression, toxic divorce, traumatized infants diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome, and young mothers recovering from opioid addiction.

Practice exercises interspersed throughout guide practitioners to personally engage in the creative expressive and play therapy techniques presented in each chapter, augmenting professional self- awareness and skill- building competencies.

Janet A. Courtney, PhD, is founder of FirstPlay Therapy®, a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor, and a TEDx Speaker. She is immediate past chair of the Association for Play Therapy Ethics and Practice committee, and former president of the Florida Association for Play Therapy. Since 1997, she has been an Adjunct Professor at Barry University, Miami, Florida. She currently oversees the Play Therapy curriculum in the School of Social Work at Barry University. She is an author and internationally recognized speaker and has been invited to present on trauma informed topics of infant, child, and family expressive play therapies across the U.S. and globally. Dr. Courtney was also named the 2021 Viola Brody Award winner from the Florida Association for Play Therapy.

Product Details ISBN: 9780393713756
ISBN-10: 039371375X
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: April 28th, 2020
Pages: 256
Language: English
Dr. Courtney is a respected colleague with substantive experience working with young children and families. In this book she highlights a broad range of topics that together provide the foundation for offering concrete, kind, and trauma-informed help to children and families. She presents a truly integrated approach that combines contemporary knowledge about neuroscience, the brain, the body-mind connection, and the person of the therapist. 
— Eliana Gil, PhD, RPT-S, ATR, Senior Clinical and Research Consultant, Gil Institute for Trauma Recovery and Education, LLC, Fairfax, VA

Rich in theory, techniques, case examples, and research findings, this volume is an excellent resource for both beginning and experienced therapists for expanding their skills in working with infants, children, adolescents, and families. Highly recommended.

— Charles E. Schaefer, PhD, RPT-S, co-founder and Director Emeritus of the Association for Play Therapy

Organized around the humanistic perspective, Healing Child and Family Trauma Through Expressive and Play Therapies begins with a discussion of the theoretical landscape to set the stage for reviewing clinical applications of expressive arts and play therapies to assess and heal child and family trauma. Each chapter engages readers by incorporating numerous activities and case examples. This book is a must-read for novice and experienced practitioners working with the traumatized child and their family.


— Susan W. Gray, MBA, PhD, Ed.D., LCSW, University Distinguished Professor of Social Work Emerita- Barry University, author and recipient of the NASW Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Courtney's experience and passion for the field are ever present through each thoughtfully expressed assessment and intervention for the children and families. She shares interventions, providing valuable tools for play therapists, including the use of [nature, mindfulness, journal, dreams, movement, dance, and more]…The case examples allow the reader to feel the positive power of Dr. Courtney's work within the family system. Dr. Courtney's skill, wisdom, and passion are felt in this book. Play therapists will benefit from the impact information in this book when working with children and families. 
— PlayTherapy Magazine