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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Susan Richardson, MA, PsyD (Private Practice)
Description: This is a casebook and theoretical exploration of the uses of comic book superheroes in therapeutic work with children and adults.
Purpose: It is written for clinicians and therapists who are interested in using fantasy play with both children and adults for a multitude of psychological issues. The contributors draw upon theoretical research with myth and other rich symbolism for therapeutic purposes. The contributors ably display the potential gains for patients with these novel approaches.
Audience: The book is written for clinicians or graduate students for the purposes of training and familiarization with superhero symbolic play therapy. Many of the contributors write from their own experiences of using these symbolic play techniques.
Features: The contributors describe many different applications of the superhero play, from a multitude of theoretical perspectives, e.g. attachment theory, Adlerian theory, etc. The book also includes chapters on work with highly specific populations such as a residential teen sex offender program, adopted children, and autism spectrum clients, to name a few. The contributors do a very good job of showcasing this highly specific type of therapy for a variety of clinical applications. Linkage of theory to practice is evident and thoughtfully done.
Assessment: This is a highly readable, very original casebook for clinicians who work with children and adults. It delineates clinical fantasy play in familiar and aspirational forms for clients with a variety of interests. It is sure to be useful for therapists who are interested in garnering further skill and techniques in play therapy.