Creative Therapies for Complex Trauma: Helping Children and Families in Foster Care, Kinship Care or Adoption


A burgeoning evidence base supports that arts, play and other creative therapies have potential to help children in foster care, kinship care or adoptive families to recover from complex trauma.

Written by contributors working at the cutting edge of delivering effective therapeutic interventions, this innovative book describes models for working with children in foster care, kinship care or adoption. Covering how to assess needs and contextual considerations for working with children and families, this book presents a range of creative therapeutic approaches spanning art psychotherapy, music therapy and dance therapy. It emphasizes the necessity of working with caregivers and other significant adults, as well as the child, to facilitate recovery. The theoretical foundations of attachment, developmental psychology and neurobiology are embedded in each chapter showing how they underpin each of the recommended creative therapies.

This book will be suitable for professionals directly employing creative approaches in their practice, such as arts therapists and play therapists, as well as those working with children who are interested in creative alternate approaches, such as psychologists, counsellors, therapists and social workers.


  • Acknowledgements. About the Editors. Contributors List. Introduction. Anthea Hendry, Art Psychotherapist and Joy Hasler, Catchpoint CIC.
  • 1. Complex Trauma in Children: An Overview of Theoretical Developments. Franca Brenninkmeyer, Head of Child and Family Service, PAC-UK.
  • 2. Creative Therapies for Complex Trauma: Theory into Practice. Anthea Hendry, Art Psychotherapist.
  • 3. Putting Theory into Practice: Implications for Caregivers. Janet Smith, Adoption Support Practice Manager at Families for Children.
  • 4. How does Trauma Affect the whole family?: Assessment of the Effect of Trauma on Attachment relationships. Joy Hasler, Catchpoint CIC.
  • 5. Beyond Words: Family Futures Neurophysiological Approach to Assessment and treatment of Traumatised Children. Jay Vaughan, Therapy Services Manager, Family Futures CIC and Alan Burnell, Manager, Family Futures CIC.
  • 6. Dyadic Parent-Child Art Psychotherapy and Complex Trauma. Anthea Hendry, Art Psychotherapist and Elizabeth Taylor Buck, Research Fellow, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield.
  • 7. Healing Rhythms: Music Therapy for Attachment and Trauma. Joy Hasler, Catchpoint CIC.
  • 8. Making a Drama: Interview with a Dramatherapist who works with adoptive families. Molly Holland, Catchpoint CIC and Joy Hasler, Catchpoint CIC.
  • 9. When Play Therapy is not Enough: Using EMDR in combination with Play Therapy for children with Complex Trauma. Renee Potegieter Marks, Consultant Therapist, Integrate Families.
  • 10. ‘Repetitive, rhythmic, relevant, relational, respectful and rewarding’: Dance Movement Therapy in Attachment Work. Hannah Guy, Dance and Movement Therapist, Catchpoint CIC and Sue Topalian, Dance and Movement Therapist, Catchpoint CIC.
  • 11. Adapting to Working in Schools with the Family Futures’ Neurophysiological Approach. Marion Allen, Education Consultant, Family Futures CIC.
  • 12. Rules, Relationships and Ripples: Therapy in a Specialist Residential School. Sarah Ayache, Head of Therapies and Art Psychotherapist, The William Henry Smiths School and Martin Gibson, Vice Principal, The William Henry Smiths School.

Author Bio:

Anthea Hendry is an art psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer in private practice. Prior to this she has worked in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health service, managed an after adoption service and worked as a social worker in a fostering and adoption team.

Joy Hasler is Founder and Director of Catchpoint Consultancy, a registered Adoption Support Agency established in 2001. She is also a qualified music therapist.