Therapy is a critical element of work with abused children, offering them the opportunity to explore past experiences in a safe environment with the emotional support of a therapist. Reaching the Vulnerable Child offers a tried-and-tested model of integrated therapy that incorporates play and expressive arts to foster verbal, non-verbal and symbolic communication.
The authors describe how emotional, physical and sexual abuse impact on children's development, and discuss attachment, separation, loss, and the effects of trauma on brain functioning. They provide practical guidance on preparing for sessions and creating safe therapeutic environments, and explain the importance of involving carers in the recovery process. Drawing on a wide range of techniques including play, movement, art, drama, music and therapeutic story work, this approach proposes methods for addressing guilt and low self-esteem, establishing trust and dealing with sexualized or aggressive behaviour.
This guide to working with abused children and young people will be valued by professionals and therapists from a range of backgrounds, including psychotherapists, play therapists and arts therapists, as well as those responsible for children's services. It is an ideal accompaniment to The Child's Own Story, also in the Delivering Recovery series.