Rhinebeck Child and Family Center, LLC            

Child Therapy Techniques - The Center for Practical Tools for Child and Adolescent Therapists

Dr. David A. Crenshaw, Director  

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Dr. Crenshaw is the proud recipient of The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hudson Valley Psychological Association.

Dr. Crenshaw is co-editing a series of books for Guilford.  Please click here for his Guilford books and ordering information.

 Rosie, first NY trial dog and what you can do to support Rosie's Law

"Heartfelt Feelings" Coloring Cards

Certified translations in 8 languages

Find out about Dr. Crenshaw and his books at Amazon Author Page

20% discount Code # 4W9CAPBK. Click for details and to order.

in print and e-book. Click to order with 20% discount Code 2E.

Dr. Crenshaw's latest books

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Dr. Crenshaw's book Bereavement: Counseling the Grieving throughout the Life Cycle is so successful that it is now in its third printing and earned an average customer rating of 4.0 out of 5 starsfrom Amazon.com      

Read Dr. Crenshaw's articles in Play Therapy magazine by clicking on title: "Should I Be Worried?"  "Selective Mutism" "Preverbal Trauma" "No Time or Place for Child's Play" "Sounds of Silence" "Symbolism of Windows and Doors in Play Therapy" "The Wonder of It All" "Rosie Goes to Court"  "Secrets Told to Ivy"  with permission of Play Therapy Magazine.  

Two New Poetry Books By David A. Crenshaw (click on titles for details)       The Vision of the Heart  and A Place of Healing and Hope

Books below are available in paperback at 20% discount. To order click on the book images below or simply call 1-800-462-6420.  Code # 4W9CAPBK.  If you want to read reviews first, click on book title under the book image.

Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy: Wounded Spirits and Healing Paths,

Therapeutic Engagement of Children and Adolescents

Understanding and Treating the Aggression of Children: Fawns in Gorilla Suits

Understanding and Treating Aggressive Children: Fawns in Gorilla Suits

Handbook of Play Therapy with Aggressive Children

 

Evocative Strategies in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

Home
Presentations- Including Upcoming
Testimonials from Presentations
Books
Dr. Crenshaw's Publications
DVD on Grief
CHILD THERAPY TECHNIQUES:
...Heart Symbol Strategies
...Heartfelt Feelings Coloring Card Kit
...Party Hats on Monsters
...Anger Modulation Drawings
...The Ship Prepares for Voyage
...The Magic Key
...The Fair Trial
...The Tree at the Top of the Hill
...Falling Leaves
...Holiday Writing Exercises
...Three Doors
Articles for Parents and Teachers
Article: Empathic Healer
Article: The Fawns beneath the Gorilla Suits
Article: The Hidden Dimensions
Article: Sounds of Children's Silence
Article: Windows to the Child’s Soul
Article: Selective Mutism
Article: Sealing off the Fountain
Article: by Liana Lowenstein, MSW
Article: Rosie the Golden Retriever
Poetry... Musings of the Soul
...Multicultural Language of Healing a Child
...Poetry Book-The Vision of the Heart
...Poetry Book-A Place of Healing and Hope
Tribute to Survivors of Domestic Violence
"My Wish for Children"
YouTube Videos
About Dr. Crenshaw
Translations
 

Mailing Address

David A. Crenshaw, Ph.D., ABPP 205 Dogwood Court Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Phone:  (845) 489-8661

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Copyright © 2004-2015 by David A. Crenshaw, Ph.D., ABPP. All rights reserved.

"The Hidden Dimensions" 

By David A. Crenshaw, Ph.D., ABPP

 

     Dr. James Garbarino, Chairman of the Department of Humanistic Psychology at Loyola University, and I wrote a paper entitled, “The Hidden Dimensions: Unspeakable Sorrow and Buried Human Potential in Violent Youth."1 The unspeakable sorrow derives from the invisible emotional wounds that Kenneth V. Hardy, Ph.D., Director of the Eikenberg Institute for Relationships describes as often unrecognized and even worse, sometimes devalued.  Hardy explains that emotional wounds do not receive the same attention or respect that physical wounds elicit.2 If a colleague arrives for work with a cast on her arm, most co-workers will express concern, interest and curiosity about what happened to her. If a co-worker arrives for work feeling noticeably depressed it is unlikely to garner the same solicitude particularly the longer it goes on. The invisible emotional wounds of children exposed to violence are just as real and in some cases far more devastating than the physical wounds that may bear scars from injuries received during beatings in the past. The invisible wounds also are typically slower to heal and the healing process more complicated, especially the lacerations to the soul of a child. There is both unspeakable sorrow and rage associated with such deep injuries to the spirit of a child or a teen. 

     I wish to make clear, however, that even in the case of devastating, devalued, emotional wounds it is a testament to the resilient spirit of our youth that the vast majority do not resort to violence. This fact needs to be punctuated in our field since all too often mental health professionals due to their training sometimes over-focus on pathology and don't see the amazing strengths of young people and to honor the many who triumph over adversity in their developmental years. There are many adults living full, productive lives, enjoying successful careers and professions, in committed relationships, raising children, whose early lives were marked by extreme harsh realities such as physical, sexual abuse, poverty, devaluation of many forms. The crucial error we wish to avoid is to categorize all who faced harsh and bitter early life circumstances as victims who are marked for life. The vast majority will find the inner strength and resources to rise above such a tough beginning. At the same time we should never minimize or trivialize the suffering and the difficulties that these same individuals had to surmount—both the strength and suffering needs to be honored. In addition we should not set the bar so high that we just assume that no matter how bad the circumstances, young people will just simply rise above it. The concept of resilience should not be used as "a club" by insisting that everyone regardless of circumstances should be resilient. Some even with the best of strengths, resilience, and spirit of survival may not be able to rise above unusually adverse circumstances and we should not expect them to but rather work towards the social changes that can bring relief to the suffering imposed by such conditions.

     In addition to the hidden, invisible emotional wounds borne by youth prone to violence, another often unrecognized core feature is their talents and strengths. When turning points in the lives of resilient youth who overcame the adverse conditions of their early lives are reviewed, frequently they will name a teacher, a coach, a family member who refused to give up on them, who saw something good in them, something redeeming, a talent, a gift, an ability that could be cultivated and developed. As therapists we should just as aggressively pursue “what is right” with the youth we are treating as we do “what is wrong” with them. I have long challenged the pervasive influence of the training that most mental health professionals receive that “punctuates pathology” and “documents damage” but often overlooks the resources within our youthful clients for growth and change. The psychoanalyst, the late Walter Bonime, M.D, that I was privileged to learn from used to remind me often, “It is psychoanalysis, not pathoanalysis.”

1 Crenshaw, D. A. and Garbarino, J. (2007). The hidden dimensions: Profound sorrow and buried potential in violent youth. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 47, 160-174.

2 Hardy, K. V. and T. Laszloffy. (2005). Teens who hurt: Clinical interventions with violent youth. New York: Guilford.

 

Copyright © 2007 by David A. Crenshaw, Ph.D., ABPP.  All rights reserved.

 

 

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