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Understanding and Treating the Aggression of Children: Fawns in Gorilla Suits Hardcover – April 14, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0765700346 ISBN-10: 0765700344

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Jason Aronson, Inc. (April 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765700344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765700346
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.3 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,705,834 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The book's many strengths begin with the authors. Their combined experience includes authorship and/or editorship of at least 15 books. The flow of the book and their engaging style amply convey the benefits of such experience. Also, together the authorshave decades of therapy experience with emotionally disturbed children and their families. The book provides clear guidelines for therapists. There is much to be gained from authors' experience to guide therapists. The book is well written, engaging, and a mix of anecdotes, cases, and therapist material. The authors provide a psychodynamic understanding of children exposed to trauma, untoward parenting, and multiple life events. Clinicians in contact with these children will recognize the endless streamof tragic stories and difficulties in and importance of helping. Also, there are many helpful principles to guide facets of therapy, contacts with parents, and needs of children.. (Alan E. Kazdin PsycCRITIQUES)

Aggressive children challenge us as therapists and human beings in ways that reach deep into our culture and our psyche. David Crenshaw and John Mordock offer a rare blend of intelligent empathy and practice-grounded wisdom in meeting these challenges. Every practitioner, from the novice to the expert, can learn from them. (James Garbarino, Ph.D., Maude C. Clarke Chair in Humanistic Psychology at Loyola University Chicago)

Understanding and Treating the Aggression of Children, is a splendid and important addition to the clinical literature in this vital, yet relatively neglected, domain of child therapy. Its excellence lies in its lucid and concise depiction of the ingredients that go into the 'creation' of such children and its forthright yet subtle ideas as to 'how to best treat them.' It beautifully depicts how the insidious 'unholy trinity' of loss, voicelessness, and shame combine to create the 'fawn-like' underlying personality structure of these children. It goes on to address the essential roles of the impact on the therapist of working with these children; the need and methods for how to work with their parents; the way to address these children's inadequatedefensive structures; the importance of milieu therapy in working with the most extreme of these children; the interplay of developmental/psychodynamic forces with the child's neuro-physiology, and, crucially, the attempts to revive a viable sense of hopefulness in these children as the beginning step to better and more secure attachments and empathy. This book should be in the library of any child clinician working with seriously troubled youngsters?it is engagingly written, compellingly astute, and unst (Steve Tuber)

I especially appreciated the importance they place upon the development of empathy, the need for a child to keep old defenses until new ones are learned, and their emphasis upon working with a child's family to strengthen the family's ability to care for the child. (Jeanne Bereiter, M.D. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic: A Journal for the Mental Health Professions, Vol. 71, No. 4 (Fall 2007))

This first of two volumes is a comprehensive A to Z guide for clinicians who work with aggressive and violent children. It covers a wealth of information from understanding the underlying causes through developmental failures and recent findings from neuroscience, along with psychodynamic formulations on through to special considerations to treatment and working with parents. The authors close with a chapter on fostering hope and resilience that gives us all hope in working with such a difficult population. This book makes an important contribution to the field of child therapy and needs to be included in professional and personal libraries. (Athena A. Drewes, Psy.D., RPT-S, The Astor Home for Children)

Understanding and Treating the Aggression of Children, is a splendid and important addition to the clinical literature in this vital, yet relatively neglected, domain of child therapy. Its excellence lies in its lucid and concise depiction of the ingredients that go into the 'creation' of such children and its forthright yet subtle ideas as to 'how to best treat them.' It beautifully depicts how the insidious 'unholy trinity' of loss, voicelessness, and shame combine to create the 'fawn-like' underlying personality structure of these children. It goes on to address the essential roles of the impact on the therapist of working with these children; the need and methods for how to work with their parents; the way to address these children's inadequate defensive structures; the importance of milieu therapy in working with the most extreme of these children; the interplay of developmental/psychodynamic forces with the child's neuro-physiology, and, crucially, the attempts to revive a viable sense of hopefulness in these children as the beginning step to better and more secure attachments and empathy. This book should be in the library of any child clinician working with seriously troubled youngsters—it is engagingly written, compellingly astute, and unstintingly helpful in its approach. (Steve Tuber)

The book's many strengths begin with the authors. Their combined experience includes authorship and/or editorship of at least 15 books. The flow of the book and their engaging style amply convey the benefits of such experience. Also, together the authors have decades of therapy experience with emotionally disturbed children and their families. The book provides clear guidelines for therapists. There is much to be gained from authors' experience to guide therapists. The book is well written, engaging, and a mix of anecdotes, cases, and therapist material. The authors provide a psychodynamic understanding of children exposed to trauma, untoward parenting, and multiple life events. Clinicians in contact with these children will recognize the endless stream of tragic stories and difficulties in and importance of helping. Also, there are many helpful principles to guide facets of therapy, contacts with parents, and needs of children. (Alan E. Kazdin PsycCRITIQUES)

From the Publisher

Understanding and Treating the Aggression of Children: Fawns in Gorilla Suits provides a thorough review of the theoretical and research basis of the techniques and interventions in the treatment of aggressive and sometimes violent children. This is not a dry and sterile academic review but rather one that comes from work directly in the therapy room with thousands of hurting and in many cases traumatized children. One cannot read this book without being deeply moved and touched by the pain of these children and yet also be buoyed by their courage and willingness to persevere against formidable barriers. The metaphor of the fawn in a gorilla suit is introduced, followed by chapters covering developmental failures and invisible wounds, profound and unacknowledged losses, the implication of new findings from neuroscience, psychodynamics of aggressive children, risk factors when treating the traumatized child, special considerations when treating children in foster care, strengthening relationships with parents and helping them be more effective, enhancing relationships with direct care and instructional staff, developing mature defenses, and coping skills, creating a therapeutic milieu for traumatized children, and fostering hope and resilience.

More About the Author

I grew up in a farming community in northwest Missouri. My family and I live in upstate New York in the Hudson Valley and it has been our home for more than four decades. I retired from a busy clinical practice in Rhinebeck, New York after 36 years in June of 2013. I've served as Clinical Director of three Residential Treatment Programs during my career: the Rhinebeck Country School, Astor Home for Children, and currently I am the Clinical Director of the Children's Home of Poughkeepsie. I am also a Faculty Associate at Johns Hopkins University.

My most popular book is Bereavement: Counseling the Grieving over the Life Cycle. The second most popular book is Evocative Strategies in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy that contains over 150 practical strategies I've developed to engage extremely challenging and sometimes oppositional children and adolescents. The third most popular book is Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy: Wounded Spirits and Healing Paths. That book is my personal favorite and contains chapters by me and others written with some of my most admired colleagues including James Garbarino, Kenneth Hardy, and Andy Fussner. It contains anecdotes about some of the people who have inspired me and taught me things that textbooks can never provide such as the late Olga Silverstein, an amazing family therapist for many years at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, and the late Walter Bonime, M.D., a Senior Training Psychoanalyst at New York Medical College who provided me psychoanalytic supervision for over 14 years.

I was thrilled to recently co-edit a new book with the acclaimed and internationally known art therapist, Cathy Malchiodi, Ph.D., Creative Arts and Play Therapy for Problems of Attachment, which is the first book in a new series that Cathy and I will be editing for Guilford Press. The series is called "Creative Arts and Play Therapy." The first book contains exciting chapters by Rick Gaskill and Bruce Perry on the latest findings from neuroscience as applied to play therapy and chapters by leading practitioners in the field of art, dance, drama, and music therapy as well as recognized leaders in the field of play therapy such as Eliana Gil, Jennifer Baggerly, Phyllis Booth, addressing a wide range of attachment problems.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Hull on October 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book has helped so much in my work with "Fawns in Gorilla Suits". It matches the passion that I have in helping parents understand why "Gorilla Suit" children need love and empathy.
Dr. Crenshaw and Dr. Mordock explain the biological reasons for "Gorilla Suit Wearers" and then address treatment from every different perspective. There is even a section on working with the families and parents.
As a University instructor of graduate students, I recommend this book for my students as well.
Well written, easily understood, and not filled with technical jargon, this book is a MUST HAVE for any clinician working with children.
Kevin Hull, Ph.D.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven T. Baron on July 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
In this book Dr. Crenshaw provides a masterful job of explaining the dynamics of how traumatized children experience their world and how their capacity to form relationships is impacted upon. The metaphor of fawns in gorilla suits captures to a very large degree the struggle these children face. Highly recommended!!
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By Christine Bates on July 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For anyone working in Residential Treatment with emotionally disturbed children this is a must read. Well written, good anecdotes, compassionate and insightful with a focus on pscychodynamic aspects of care and family involvement,
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