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Play Therapy with Abused Children


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Table of Contents

1. The Rights of Children and the Abused Child. The Rights of Children. New Approaches to the Care and Support of Children in the United Kingdom. Every Child Matters: Change for Children. Protecting Children and Young People: The Charter. The Abused Child is the Invisible Child. Definitions of Child Abuse. The Trauma of Abuse. The Effects of Abuse on the Child's Future Development. The Effects of Sexual Abuse on Children. Transition from Victim to Abuser. 2. Play Therapy as a Healing Process for Abused Children. The Meaning of Play. What is Play? Play as a Cultural Phenomena. History of the Study of Play. Child Development Theories and Play. Representing the Social World in Play. Play and Dramatic Play. Playing with Children. Children Playing Together. Play as Therapy. Non-Directive Play Therapy. Cognitive-Behavioural Play Therapy. Prescriptive Play Therapy. Play and Healing for Abused Children. 3. Starting Play Therapy: Settings, Materials, Boundaries. Play Therapy to Heal the Hurt Child. The Therapist. Supervision. Assessing the Need for Therapy. Timing the Intervention. Information about the Child. Investigations and Therapy. Starting Play Therapy. Finding a Safe Place for the Child. Material for Play. Play with Toys. The Use of Toys and Play Material in Play Therapy Across Cultures. 4. The Play Therapy Process for the Abused Child. The Play Therapy Process for the Abused Child. The Role of the Therapist. Preparation for Play. Starting Play. In the Middle Lies the Monster. Am I a Monster? Losing the Monster. The Final Stages of Play. Becoming Visible. 5. Play Therapy with Physically Abused Children. Helping the Physically Hurt Child through Play. 6. The Emotionally Abused Child. Emotional Abuse. The Sessions. 7. The Sexually Abused Child. The Difficulties of Young Children. Children with Learning Difficulties. Sexually Abused Boys. Getting Rid of the Monster: Ways of Coping. 8. The Therapist's Journey. References. Books for Children. Index.

Promotional Information

Practical ways of starting play therapy with abused children and explains how the child can use this process for healing

About the Author

Ann Cattanach is a play therapist and dramatherapist in private practice. She has wide experience of teaching and lecturing in drama, dramatherapy and speech communication, and has also worked as a child psychotherapist, family therapist and dramatherapist for Social Services and NHS Trusts.


Play Therapy with Abused Children is a text that presents a powerful way of working with a particular group of children. Cattanach uses the theory and practice illustrated to make the reader aware of the negative experiences that these children may bring to the therapeutic play sessions. In doing this, she prepares the reader for the reality of what practitioners encounter within the therapeutic work but also indicates the benfit that the children experience as a consequence of working in this non-directive and playful way. -- Debate
Cattanach's style exudes warmth and compassion and has enabled the text to retain its human perspective. but the addition of a subject index makes it far more accessible for those new in this field. The text continues to cover a broad range of topis, from the history and cultural context of play, through to consideration of the fundamentals of play therapy before using case examples to probe different types of child harm within a clinical text. To gain an understanding of the impact of harm on a child and the use of play therapy to aid the child in seeking resolution, this book remains a key introductory text to the field. -- Children & Young People Now
This insightful book is a must read for anyone in contact with abused children, Ann Cattanach's practical approach provides a good starting point for carers, adopters, teachers and workers alike. Practising therapists will also gain greatly from the wisdom in these pages. Readers will be struck by the immense inner strength Ann has for herself, in her capacity to come so close to experiences and in understanding and supporting the children's healing. Readers will want to keep this book on their shelf to refer to many times over: Highly recommended. -- Adoption Today
The book has become a classic in play therapy and related fields... This book is essential reading for professionals working with abused children. -- Play for Life

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