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The Healing Power of Play

Helping Traumatized Kids Feel Safe and Happy Again

David Crenshaw • 1/29/2018

By David Crenshaw - When children are too anxious, afraid, or traumatized to play, they can't utilize this natural resource of childhood to relieve a painful emotional state. Instead, they must use their energy to compartmentalize the trauma, keeping it out of direct awareness. Child therapists can help children reclaim this vital feature of emotional self-regulation by teaching, modeling, and setting the stage for the child to play.

Daily Blog

Using Play to Connect Better with Kids in Therapy

How Modeling Play Can Help Children Heal Trauma, Alleviate Anxiety, and More

David Crenshaw • 1/27/2016

When children are too anxious, afraid, or traumatized to play, they can't utilize this natural resource of childhood to relieve a painful emotional state. Because play is both releasing and disarming, it may be too threatening for the child to give up control sufficiently to enter into it. Child therapists can help children reclaim this vital feature of emotional self-regulation by teaching, modeling, and setting the stage for the child to play. But as when you're teaching children with attachment problems to tolerate emotions, this must be done gradually.

Daily Blog

Case Study

The Healing Power of Play: Helping the Traumatized Child Find Safety Again

David Crenshaw • 9/1/2008

When a small child has been traumatized and frozen in fear, the releasing and disarming power of play can be the key to healing.

Magazine Article
Page 1 of 1 (3 Items)
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The Healing Power of Play

Helping Traumatized Kids Feel Safe and Happy Again

David Crenshaw • 1/29/2018

By David Crenshaw - When children are too anxious, afraid, or traumatized to play, they can't utilize this natural resource of childhood to relieve a painful emotional state. Instead, they must use their energy to compartmentalize the trauma, keeping it out of direct awareness. Child therapists can help children reclaim this vital feature of emotional self-regulation by teaching, modeling, and setting the stage for the child to play.

Daily Blog

Using Play to Connect Better with Kids in Therapy

How Modeling Play Can Help Children Heal Trauma, Alleviate Anxiety, and More

David Crenshaw • 1/27/2016

When children are too anxious, afraid, or traumatized to play, they can't utilize this natural resource of childhood to relieve a painful emotional state. Because play is both releasing and disarming, it may be too threatening for the child to give up control sufficiently to enter into it. Child therapists can help children reclaim this vital feature of emotional self-regulation by teaching, modeling, and setting the stage for the child to play. But as when you're teaching children with attachment problems to tolerate emotions, this must be done gradually.

Daily Blog
Page 1 of 1 (2 Items)

Case Study

The Healing Power of Play: Helping the Traumatized Child Find Safety Again

David Crenshaw • 9/1/2008

When a small child has been traumatized and frozen in fear, the releasing and disarming power of play can be the key to healing.

Magazine Article
Page 1 of 1
David A. Crenshaw, Ph.D, ABPP, is Clinical Director of the Children's Home of Poughkeepsie. He is Past-President of the New York Association for Play Therapy, a Board-Certified Clinical Psychologist; a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, a Fellow of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychology, a Fellow of the Academy of Clinical Psychology, and a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor. He was honored with the Excellence in Psychology Award in 2009 and has received two Lifetime Achievement Awards: in 2012 by the Hudson Valley Psychological Association, and in 2018 by the NY Association for Play Therapy. He is the author/editor/co-editor of 17 books, over 100 book chapters, and journal articles on child aggression, play therapy and child trauma, his latest books co-edited with Cathy Malchiodi are What to Do When Children Clam-Up in Psychotherapy and a book co-written with Eliana Gil titled Termination Challenges in Child Psychotherapy.