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Deep Play - Exploring the Use of Depth in Psychotherapy with Children

"Therapeutic deep play has the capacity for children to express deep emotions, overcome seemingly insurmountable issues and resolve serious problems. Working with children in this profound way, therapists are able to not only eliminate symptoms, but to change the very structure of how children live with themselves, their defense and belief systems. The contributors to this book all work deeply, allowing children to take risks in a safe environment, and become fully absorbed in physical play. Chapters include play with deep sandboxes, clay, water, and various objects, and look at a range of pertinent case studies to demonstrate the therapeutic techniques in practice, alongside the theoretical concepts in which they are grounded. A new theoretical approach is established that takes from psychoanalysis as well as neuroscience and behaviourism, and offers a depth psychology approach in the treatment of children. This will be a valuable resource for anyone working therapeutically with children through play, including play therapists, psychotherapists, psychologists, arts therapists, counsellors, social workers and family therapists."
Product Details

Table of Contents

Foreword. Shaun McNiff, Provost and Dean, Endicott College. Introduction. Dennis McCarthy, Mental Health Counselor, Director, Metamorfos Institute, New York State. 1. A Deep Story of Deep Play. Dr Sue Jennings, Honorary Fellow of Roehampton University, President of the Romanian Association of Play Therapy and Dramatherapy, Founder Member of the British Association of Dramatherapists. 2. Journeying Within: The Use of Tunnel and Cave Imagery to Access the Inner Imaginative World. Timothy Rodier, Psychotherapist, Kingston, New York. 3. The Keys to the World: Revolution and Epiphany in Deep Sand. Julie Rose, Professional Dancer, Body-centered Psychotherapist, Accord, New York. 4. Behold the Treasure and the Swamp! Digging and Delving, Poking and Pounding, Getting to the Bottom of Things. Michelle Rhodes, Art Therapist, Social Worker, Psychoanalyst and Clay Artist, New York State. 5. Subcutaneous, Subcortical, Subconscious and Subterranean: The Most Toxic Boy in the World's Search for Mum. Tim Woodhouse, Play and Filial Therapist, EMDR Practitioner, Sensorimotor Psychotherapist and Social Worker, Lancashire. 6. Out of the Box and into the Wild. Therese Bimka, Interfaith Minister, Soul Collage Facilitator, Social Worker, Artist, Director, The One Spirit InterSpiritual Counseling Program, New York State. 7. Deep Sand: Body-centered, Imaginative Play. Dennis McCarthy, Mental Health Counselor, Director, Metamorfos Institute, New York State. 8. Emergence: A Tale of Two Boys. Neal Brodsky, Holistic Psychotherapist, Family Therapist and Core Energetics Practitioner, Connecticut. 9. Musings about Deepening Connections in Families. Alan Spivack, Family Therapist, Theraplay Practitioner, New York State. 10. A Case for In-Depth Therapy with Adults. Richmond Greene, Psychotherapist and Jungian Psychoanalyst, New York State. Epilogue. Dennis McCarthy, Mental Health Counselor, Director, Metamorfos Institute, New York State. Index.

Promotional Information

Offering theoretical grounding and practical techniques that demonstrate the profound therapeutic impact deep play can produce in work with children

About the Author

Dennis McCarthy is a licensed mental health counselor in New York state and is the director of Metamorfos Institute. He is a psychotherapist working with both children and adults and specializing in sandplay and dream work. Initially trained as a dancer, he weaves the body's innate urge to move into all of his work.


I am awestruck by the work of Dennis McCarthy, and the unique contribution of Deep Play to our understanding of fully embodied play's imperative. This wonderful volume teaches how to better support children's need for "descent" in claiming their potency and life-force, with support from adults so willing to engage! * Anna Kemble, Child and Family Therapist, Producer of The Moving Child Film * In this fascinating and moving book, Dennis McCarthy has drawn together very powerful material to show how deep play allows us to access that part of us which can be so well defended, but which, when found, enables the greatest transformation and healing. The detailed but sensitive case studies not only fully illustrate the core concept, they draw the reader down into the playroom and on into the depths of the sandbox to sit right there alongside the child as if to witness their journey firsthand. After reading this book, every play therapist will want a deep sand box in their playroom! * Ali Chown, Play Therapist and Specialist SMHE Practitioner * Beginners and experienced therapists will appreciate how this book, from start to finish, gives inspiration and guidance, examples and testimony, convincing evidence that imaginal processes and play-places can exist in our everyday lives, and that they heal.... I applaud Dennis McCarthy and his team of contributors for modeling ways of speaking about the work and presenting it, that reverberate with its bodily and energetic grounding together with the creative flights characterizing an immersion in play where the medium and the environment it creates are arguably the most potent healers. * from the foreword by Shaun McNiff, PhD, ATR, Author and Professor, Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Advanced Graduate Studies in Creativity, Imagination, and Leadership *

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