Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Ileana Ungureanu, MD, PhD (Adler School of Professional Psychology)
Description: This much-anticipated update of a book on family therapy first published in 1994 provides an integrated view of working with children in the context of family therapy, as well as integrating adults in therapeutic play.
Purpose: The book reflects the developments in the field of family therapy as well as those of the author in the 20 years since the first edition was published. It presents a more integrative, more collaborative approach to family play therapy as well as developments in neuroscience that apply to the play therapy field.
Audience: Eliana Gil, a master in play therapy in the context of family therapy, is an internationally acclaimed family and play therapist. Her trainings in play therapy are considered among the best ways to learn to work with creative arts in the field of family therapy. This book is as useful to beginning therapists as it is to experienced clinicians who want to know more about integrating play therapy in their work with families.
Features: The author presents her model of using creativity, play, and metaphors in working with children and adults in family therapy. She presents the theoretical concepts at the foundation of her model, a history of play in family therapy, emphasizing a collaborative model of clinical practice. I find especially useful her case presentations, the delightful writing style that is both academic and accessible with a very sophisticated feel of a children's book so appropriate given the subject! The pictures of the artwork of her clients are very instructive and useful in understanding the cases.
Assessment: This is a masterful work from a master in the field - a must-read for students in family therapy as well as clinicians working with children as well as adults. The author discusses integrating adults in play, and the brain benefits of therapy using different means such as talk and creative arts. This second edition is almost entirely rewritten a much awaited update in the field of family therapy.
From the Publisher
“Every family and child therapist should read this book! Gil is the most creative family play therapist and teacher I have ever known. This second edition is the culmination of her career spent working in the trenches. She has translated her ability into a highly readable and useful guide that is straightforward and clear without oversimplifying issues, which takes genius. This book will be indispensable for any therapist interested in helping families--which nearly always requires working with children--and vice versa. Gil offers a brilliant summary of the roots of family play therapy and describes her fantastic work with family members to transform their problems and find imaginative solutions.”--Monica McGoldrick, MSW, PhD (h.c.), The Multicultural Family Institute, Highland Park, New Jersey
"Metaphorically speaking, Eliana Gil is starlight. Her work sets the gold standard for family and play therapy integration. This book is a 'must read' for beginning and experienced child clinicians who recognize the necessity of engaging families in the therapeutic process. The book is rich in practical assessment and therapy techniques as well as illustrative case examples."--Charles E. Schaefer, PhD, RPT-S, Department of Psychology (Emeritus), Fairleigh Dickinson University
"In the second edition of her pioneering book on family play therapy, Gil has greatly amplified her unique contribution to the field. Gil stands alone in her masterful blend of solid theory; creativity; and spirited, playful engagement with families. The use of metaphor is one of the special gifts of both the author and this book. It features compelling illustrations of a wide range of clinically astute interventions that facilitate secure attachments in families. This positive, hopeful book will be treasured by clinicians and will ignite further enthusiasm for Gil's integrative treatment model."--David A. Crenshaw, PhD, ABPP, RPT-S, Clinical Director, Children's Home of Poughkeepsie, New York
Families in Society
"Provides the reader with expert guidance for the use of play therapy techniques in work with families and their young children. Case examples are alive and instructive." (on the first edition)
Journal of Family Psychotherapy
"Provides clinicians with information that will effectively help them when working with children and their families. It is certainly a book worth reading and utilizing." (on the first edition)
"For child clinicians who engage in play with children individually, this text provides important tools for overcoming barriers that may have made family therapy seem difficult or unworkable at times." (on the first edition)