Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

Wounded Spirits and Healing Paths

Contributions by Susan Cristantiello, Andrew Fussner, James Garbarino, Kenneth V. Hardy, Linda Hill, Jennifer Lee, Konstantinos Tsoubris Edited by David A. Crenshaw

Publication date:

26 September 2008

Length of book:

174 pages


Jason Aronson, Inc.

ISBN-13: 9780765705983

This edited collection by David A. Crenshaw, with contributions from such notables as James Garbarino, Kenneth V. Hardy, and Andrew Fussner, addresses the multiple sources of wounding of children and teens in contemporary life. The book conveys a message of hope and optimism, even in work with children who might be viewed as "impossible cases," because the contributors share a passion for utilizing and building on the strengths of children and families. These authors go beyond treating psychiatric symptoms to address in a more comprehensive way the emotional suffering of youth.

The unifying treatment framework for the book is relational therapy. The emotional injuries of children do not develop in a vacuum, but rather in a relational context, and healing must also be embedded in an empathic relationship between the child and the family. Building, repairing, and restoring connections within the family and the larger community, as well as within the therapeutic relationship, opens the door to growth, healing, and meaningful belonging. The stories of triumph over adversity by the courageous children and families in this book will inspire those who daily strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of hurting youth to renew their commitment to this worthy mission.
This wonderful and compelling book by Crenshaw and his colleagues serves as a reminder for all clinicians that behind the anger and behavior problems that many children manifest are "wounded spirits"—pain, loss, and grief that have somehow been silenced. Although there may be many paths to healing, a continuing theme throughout this edited volume is the critical importance of children being able to share their feelings and tell their stories within the context of a safe, trusting therapeutic relationship. Through rich clinical vignettes, stories filled with pain and suffering but also reflecting the remarkable strength and resilience of our 'wounded' children, Crenshaw and his colleagues get to the essence of healing—sharing the story and the pain with someone who deeply cares. This is an inspiring book that all child clinicians, particularly those who work with families who have experienced traumatic life events, would greatly benefit from reading. I certainly did!