The Way Home: A Child Therapist Looks at the Inner Lives of City Children

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In this deeply affecting book, a gifted child therapist explores the impact of homelessness on her young clients, and helps them recover their inner lives buried by crisis, poverty, and despair. As part of her therapy practice, Lesley Koplow asks the children to make a drawing of a house. But what does a child draw when she has no memory of a home, or when home has become haunted by strange and terrifying images from a generation past, or when home has become a den of crack and despair? The Way Home explores ...
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Overview

In this deeply affecting book, a gifted child therapist explores the impact of homelessness on her young clients, and helps them recover their inner lives buried by crisis, poverty, and despair. As part of her therapy practice, Lesley Koplow asks the children to make a drawing of a house. But what does a child draw when she has no memory of a home, or when home has become haunted by strange and terrifying images from a generation past, or when home has become a den of crack and despair? The Way Home explores these issues as it tells the riveting stories of Qimmy, a wide-eyed and pretty three-year-old, raised on a subway platform, and Opal, her non-verbal, homeless mother, on a mission to get her daughter admitted to a day-care center; Ronnie, a thirteen-year-old girl who has become phobic to attend school and is terrified of homeless women in the subway, until dream images connect her to early memories and family secrets, and ultimately allow her to overcome her fears; Angie, 'Mitri, Raquel, Kendra and Maimai, kindergartners who work to build "homes" within themselves that are strong enough to protect them from the violence in their daily lives, including crack-addicted mothers and abusive fathers. Lesley Koplow takes us into a chaotic urban world and gives us a wrenching yet ultimately hopeful glimpse of its most vulnerable victims - the children. Informative and eye-opening, this inspiring book offers powerful proof of the human capacity to heal when in the safety of a therapeutic relationship, and helps us to understand why homelessness haunts us so, no matter how secure our own lives may be.

In three case studies that comprise this haunting, profoundly moving book, Koplow works with troubled city children struggling to find a safe place they can call home--whether it be permanent physical shelter or emotional security and well-being.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The psychic toll of homelessness on both the homeless and the ``homeful'' is the subtext of this gentle account of a New York City social worker's practice. Koplow ( Where Rag Dolls Hide Their Faces ) is in private practice but also works at private and public day care programs; the differing settings provide an interesting counterpoint. She explores the deeper meaning of a young patient's fear of the homeless. She writes empathetically of the struggles of a homeless mother to gain a home and self-esteem. While Koplow is open about her own unhappiness at living in the midst of the city's homeless, an even fuller expression of her personal responses would have given this account greater depth. (Dec.)
Library Journal
Psychotherapist Koplow poignantly evokes the inner terror created by homelessness as she describes the lives of some of her young clients who live in New York City. Her stories reflect a wide spectrum of problems emanating from either actual homelessness or from an experiential dread of displacement. She paints a heartwrenching portrait of daily life in a complex society that tends to address problems primarily through unbelievably complicated bureaucratic channels. Even more unbelievable is the total personal involvement of Koplow in the affairs of her clients, as she devotes herself round-the-clock to cutting through reams of red tape to better their conditions. The reader gains insight into the devastating effects of the mushrooming problem of homelessness. For psychology collections.-- Carol R. Glatt, VA Medical Ctr. Lib., Philadelphia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451628626
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/1994
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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