Foreword by Richmond K. Greene. A Note on the Text. Introduction. 1. "If You Turned into a Monster" 2. Symbols and Symbolic Play. 3. From Symbol to Energy. 4. Energy. 5. The Power of No. 6. Falling and Leaping. 7. Interlude with Monsters. 8. Form and Formlessness. 9. Harnessing Chaos: Helping Children with Neurological Disorders. 10. Bacoming the Storm: Using the Energy of Symptoms. 11. Finding the Treasure. 12. Closing Scenes. 13. The Dragon. 14. Mothers and Fathers. Epilogue: In the Footsteps of Pan. References. Recommended Reading. Index.
A look at meaningful self-expression in children who have experienced trauma Playing, moving and drawing impulsively
Dennis McCarthy is a licensed mental health counsellor in New York state and is the director of Metamorfos Institute. He is a psychotherapist working with both children and adults and specializing in sandplay and dream work. Initially trained as a dancer, he weaves the body's innate urge to move into all of his work.
I would recommend If You Turned Into a Monster not only to
therapists who work with children but to teachers and parents. The
book is written with the kind of compassion that makes you want to
read more. -- Counselling Children and Young People
Dennis McCarthy's beautifully written book, If You Turned Into a Monster, might seem directed towards professional therapists, but its truths are universal. The wisdom of Mr. McCarthy, his gentle empathy, his reflections on myth, psychoanalysis, Bioenergetics, and his own struggles with childhood grief, will enlighten every reader. In jargon-free language, it explores the inner world of children in crisis, and reveals their incredible capacity not only to survive traumas, but - with the help of an insightful and caring therapist like Mr. McCarthy - to regain wholeness, reshaping their inner lives as they draw pictures, tell stories, and build up, break down, and remake their sand creations. It is thoughtful, funny, compassionate, filled with insights, and when you finish it, you will be rewarded with a desire to better understand your own mysteries, your `monsters', your true treasures of the self. -- J. Scott Morgan, fiction and non-fiction writer
Supporting traumatised children through play, rather than focusing predominantly on interpreting and reacting to their behaviour, is the key tenet of a book by Dennis McCarthy informed by his work as a therapist with young people.If you Turned into a Monster: Transformation through Play: A Body-Centred Approach to Play Therapy, draws on case studies from his own work. The author argues that games such as asking a child to "draw a picture of what you would look like if you turned into a monster," allow for non-verbal communication of the child's mental state and offer practical therapeutic benefits in their own right.-- Professional Social Work
I found Dennis McCarthy's description of his energetic work with children fascinating reading. He has an unusual sensitivity and a solid comprehension of the emotional conflicts children have. His therapy is simple but highly effective based as it is on understanding the child's need to discharge his negative aggressivity safely.I recommend this book to parents, teachers and child therapists. They will enjoy reading it as well as learning from it.-- Dr. Alexander Lowen, creator of Bioenergetic Analysis and author of The Language of the Body