Academic journal article American Journal of Play

Mindfulness-Based Play-Family Therapy

Academic journal article American Journal of Play

Mindfulness-Based Play-Family Therapy

Article excerpt

Mindfulness-Based Play-Family Therapy Dottie Higgins-Klein New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2013. Foreword, acknowledgments, appendix, bibliography, index, images. 334pp. $37.50 cloth. ISBN: 9780393708639

In the acknowledgments of Dottie Higgins-Klein's Mindfulness-Based Play-Family Therapy, the author mentions that her book, ". . . has taken a lifetime to develop and 12 years to write"(p. xv). From the first chapter on child development and interpersonal neurobiology to subsequent chapters on intake, stages of mindfulnessbased family-play therapy, parent education, and a final rich and thorough case study, Higgins-Klein aptly communicates her passion for and knowledge of working with families and children in play therapy. Her depth of thinking and style of writing is accessible to both students and seasoned practitioners interested in helping those burdened by traumatic experiences.

In my experience as a play therapist, I have found that gaining in-depth knowledge of a family is crucial for the therapy. Higgins-Klein approaches this important part of play therapy with a four-stage model of the intake process that incorporates parent meetings, fullfamily meetings, an introduction to play therapy for the child, and a comprehensive family history meeting. One of the strengths of Higgins-Klein's book lies in that she does not simply describe the intake process for the reader. Instead, she reveals the questions she asks and the techniques she employs during the process (e.g. the use of genograms or a pictorial display of the client's family relationships and medical history). She further helps the reader by including a full Developmental and Social History Questionnaire in the appendix.

The use of a delineated, theoretically integrated, "Talk Time" for children and parents prior to play therapy sessions allows families to openly share thoughts and feelings about a current concern. …

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