Healing Child and Family Trauma through Expressive and Play Therapies: Art, Nature, Storytelling, Body, Mindfulness


SKU: 9780393713756 Categories: , , , ,

There are many ways to help children and families heal from trauma. Leaning on our ancestral wisdom of healing through play, art, nature, storytelling, body, touch, imagination, and mindfulness practice, Janet A. Courtney helps the clinician bring a variety of practices into the therapy room.

This book identifies seven stages of therapy that provide a framework for working with client’s emotional, cognitive, somatic, and sensory experiences to heal from trauma. Through composite case illustrations, practitioners will learn how to safely mitigate a range of trauma content, including complicated grief, natural disaster, children in foster care, aggression, toxic divorce, traumatized infants diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome, and young mothers recovering from opioid addiction.

Practice exercises interspersed throughout guide practitioners to personally engage in the creative expressive and play therapy techniques presented in each chapter, augmenting professional self- awareness and skill- building competencies.


  • Part I
  • Expressive and Play Therapy Foundations
  • Chapter 1: Expressive Arts and Play Therapies: A Return to Roots
  • Chapter 2: Trauma, Neurobiology, and the Creative Healing Process
  • Chapter 3: The Essential Ingredients of the Healing Path
  • Part II
  • Expressive Arts and Play Therapy Clinical Applications
  • Chapter 4: The Art of Child Assessment and Intervention
  • Chapter 5: Family in Expressive Arts and Play Therapy: Overview an Assessment
  • Chapter 6: Deepening Family Bonds through Expressive and Play Therapy Interventions
  • Chapter 7: Nature as “Co-therapist” in Expressive Arts and Play Therapies
  • Chapter 8: Mindfulness, Journaling, Dreams, Yoga, & Labyrinth
  • Chapter 9: Fostering Attachment and Bonding through FirstPlay Kinesthetic Storytelling
  • Chapter 10: Healing Trauma through FirstPlay Infant Story-Massage: An Embodied Infant Play Therapy Intervention
  • Resources
  • References
  • Index

Author Bio:

Janet A. Courtney, PhD, is founder of FirstPlay Therapy®, a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor, and a TEDx Speaker. She is immediate past chair of the Association for Play Therapy Ethics and Practice committee, and former president of the Florida Association for Play Therapy. Since 1997, she has been an Adjunct Professor at Barry University, Miami, Florida. She currently oversees the Play Therapy curriculum in the School of Social Work at Barry University. She is an author and internationally recognized speaker and has been invited to present on trauma informed topics of infant, child, and family expressive play therapies across the U.S. and globally.