Emotion-Regulating Play Therapy with ADHD Children: Staying with Playing
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Drawing upon contemporary psychoanalytic thought, attachment theory, and the literature on children's emotional development, this book not only offers a novel conceptualization of ADHD but also a sophisticated and practical set of ideas for adapting play therapy to effectively treat it. It articulates an approach to understanding and helping ADHD children that expands and augments even as it challenges the usual neurocognitive and medicalized perspectives. The reader will appreciate the value of an energetic play process with ADHD children, encounter justifications for the therapist's liberal use of authentic self-expression and judicious mentoring for socialization purposes, be prompted to think differently about the role of interpretation and mutual enactment in child work, and locate guidelines for working supportively and caringly with parents. The book contains ample, lucid case descriptions and clinical vignettes to ground and enrich the reader's understanding of concepts and techniques. It is an essential read for mental health professionals, researches, educators and parents wishing to enlarge their understanding of ADHD.
'Dr Gnaulati presents us with a refreshing new look at ADHD, both in terms of its origins and its treatments. In this work we see an exciting and hopeful paradigm shift, from an emphasis imposed by psycho- pharmacology and neurocognitive science back to a psychotherapeutic approach, one that is tailored specificially for ADHD patients. The author takes the position that ADHD emerges from early affect disregulation, the consequences of which become registered in early brain development. The treatment the author proposes is play therapy, a therapy that is characterized by the active participation and engagement of the therapist. It is the play itself rather than the meaning of the play that is crucial in the treatment. I found Dr. Gnaulati's work exciting, highly credible, well documented and hopeful. I encourage all psychotherapists to familiarize themselves with his groundbreaking work.'
- James S. Grotstein, M.D.
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