Expressive therapy promotes children’s capacity to heal from early trauma by helping them process painful experiences over time at progressively more mature levels of understanding. Relying on excellent coping skills that have helped them survive, children in therapy are often invested in not talking due to the highly defended nature of their problems, or perhaps the need to protect a parent through silence. Alternative means of expression are often necessary. Dr. Klorer’s work allows children to communicate intense feelings in ways that are natural to them, through art and play, not solely by verbalization. In treatment, children are helped to develop their own means of creative expression through idiosyncratic symbols, stories, and repetitive themes that both express and contain their pain. In addition to a means of communication, art can be used in therapy to assess levels of emotional and cognitive functioning, object relations, developmental tasks, strengths, and defense mechanisms.
Expressive therapy, which integrates object relations theory, attachment theory, and cognitive development, can be applied to family assessment and treatment as well. Professionals who work with children will welcome this book as it offers sensitive and creative ways to help even their most challenging patients.
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