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Using Stories, Art, and Play in Trauma-Informed Treatment: Case Examples and Applications Across the Lifespan
Pernicano, Pat
Routledge / Softcover / 2018-09-01 / 1138484725
reg price: $64.95 our price: $ 55.21 (may be subject to change)
248 pages
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This book shows new and experienced therapists how to use meaningful therapeutic material in art, stories and play to facilitate shifts in outlook and behavior. Using a wide variety of case studies, Dr. Pernicano lays out a framework for problem clarification, conceptualization, trauma-informed intervention, and positive therapeutic outcome with clients across the lifespan. Case examples include working with clients suffering from dissociation, depression, anxiety, mood dysregulation, adjustment to life change, grief and loss, and/or panic attacks. Replete with client-generated illustrations as well as practical tips and strategies, Using, Art, Stories, and Play in Trauma-Informed Treatment teaches therapists how to think conceptually, plan systemically and intervene flexibly to improve treatment outcomes for diverse clients.


"Using Stories, Art, and Play in Trauma-Informed Treatment is the latest gem by Dr. Pernicano, reflecting her many years of expertise in trauma treatment across the lifespan. This unique volume utilizes the client's voice through metaphor, art, and play as reflected in a rich cornucopia of case studies. Clinicians can easily delve into evidence-informed trauma approaches that will enhance their treatment repertoire. Rich samples of child, teen, and adult client art, sandtray, and metaphor enliven powerful and moving case studies. This is an important volume for clinicians, regardless of level of training, to have in their professional library."

Athena A. Drewes, PsyD, MA, MSEd, RPT-S, past president and founder emeritus, New York Association of Play Therapy, and director of clinical training and the APA-accredited doctoral internship, Astor Services for Children and Families, Rhinebeck, New York

"Dr. Pernicano has once again created a unique resource that all trauma-informed practitioners can immediately apply to their work with clients across the lifespan. Detailed case examples bring Pernicano’s methods to life and illustrate just how meaningful stories and creative interventions can positively impact a wide range of challenges, including abuse, grief, addiction, and attachment problems. The framework and practical concepts presented in this user-friendly book will help both new and experienced therapists individualize treatment through the use of stories that not only engage clients but also effectively enhance their emotional reparation and recovery."

Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT, executive director, Trauma-Informed Practices and Expressive Arts Therapy Institute, Louisville, Kentucky

"A clearly written, comprehensive description of the role of metaphors and stories in the treatment of trauma across the ages. Highly recommended!"

Charles E. Schaefer, PhD, RPT-S,professor emeritus of psychology, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, New Jersey, and cofounder and director, The Association for Play Therapy, Clovis, California

"Pat Pernicano is a clinician who speaks from the heart. She blends evidence, art, play, and stories to understand and communicate therapy’s most important trauma-informed messages to the most important and often the most vulnerable: kids, teens, and adults suffering from trauma. Packed with case examples, playful interventions, pragmatic approaches, and illustrative art and metaphors, this book guides the reader through integrative approaches for maximizing effectiveness in therapy. Don’t miss out on this treasure."

George W. Burns, PhD, adjunct professor of psychology, Cairnmillar Institute, Melbourne, Australia, and author of eight books, including 101 Stories for Enhancing Happiness and Well-Being

"What is unusual about this book is the juxtaposition of metaphor/storytelling and a wide range of trauma cases. It is also unique in presenting child, adolescent, and adult cases. This book describes a wealth of case material within clearly articulated case conceptualizations. In addition, there is sufficient detail of the techniques used—including pictures, metaphors, and stories—that the reader can easily apply the technique in their own practice. This book is a worthwhile read for beginning and seasoned therapists alike."

Helen Benedict, PhD, RPT-S, professor of psychology and director of clinical training, Baylor University, Waco, Texas

Table of Contents

Foreword Helen Benedict Acknowledgements Introduction Part I: The Tools of the Trade 1. The Building Blocks of Communication 2. Mining for Gold with Milton Erickson 3. Constructing with Metaphor and Stories 4. The Blueprint of Trauma-Informed Treatment 5. The Integrative Tool Bag Part II: Case Examples and Applications 6. Overview of Case Development Child Cases Using Stories, Art and Play 7. The Bloodthirsty Bats: A Case of Child Sexual Abuse 8. The Alligator Eyes: A Case of Complicated Grief 9. The Boy Whose Sister Said "Fuck:" A Case of Parental Drug Overdose 10. Feed the Alligator: A Case of Sibling Trauma Intervention 11. The House with Many Rooms: A Case of Child Dissociation 12. The Mom of Many Colors: A Case of the Impact of Parental Substance Abuse 13. The Boy with a Hungry Heart: A Case of Maternal Neglect and Abandonment 14. The Wounded Elephant: A Case of Emotional Wounding Adolescent Cases Using Stories, Art and Play 15. Tell Me Who I Am: A Case of Grief and Identity 16. The Zodiac Queen: A Case of Adolescent Dissociation Adult Cases Using Stories, Art and Play 17. The Girl Behind the Brick Wall: A Case of Anxious Avoidant Attachment 18. The Girl Who Lost Her Voice: A Case of Sexual Trauma 19. Grief and the 4 Stones: A Case of the Woman Who Chose to NOT Move On 20. The Mermaid Who Forgot: A Case of Pending Loss 21. The Woman Who Got Rid of a Leech: A Case of Relationship Choices Appendix: Resources for Trauma Informed Care Insert: The Meaning of Color in Client Art

About the Author

Pat Pernicano, PsyD, has provided supervision, training, and trauma-informed treatment in outpatient, residential, geriatric, substance abuse, school, VA, and private practice settings. In 2017, she and her husband were jointly honored by the Kentucky Psychological Association as Lifetime Career Psychologists of the year. More information about her work can be found at

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