Healing Trauma in Children with Clay Field Therapy: How Sensorimotor Art Therapy Supports the Embodiment of Developmental Milestones (Paperback)

Healing Trauma in Children with Clay Field Therapy: How Sensorimotor Art Therapy Supports the Embodiment of Developmental Milestones By Cornelia Elbrecht, Cathy A. Malchiodi, PhD (Foreword by) Cover Image

Healing Trauma in Children with Clay Field Therapy: How Sensorimotor Art Therapy Supports the Embodiment of Developmental Milestones (Paperback)


Usually Arrives in Store in 1-5 Days
The first book of its kind on treating trauma in children through creative play with clay, written by a leading voice in the field of art therapy.

From the moment we’re born, we rely on our hands to perceive the world. It’s through touch that we communicate with our primary caregivers and attain an abiding sense of love and security. In Clay Field therapy, client children work with clay and water in a rectangular box. The therapeutic focus is not on object creation, but on the touch connection with the clay as a symbolic external world. Movement, touch, and sensory feedback that have long been out of reach are actualized through the creative process, enabling the child to heal past wounds and regain a more fulfilling sense of self.

Author and therapist Cornelia Elbrecht has been a leader in groundbreaking art therapy techniques for over 40 years. In Healing Trauma in Children with Clay Field Therapy, she shows how embodied expression within the Clay Field can be an effective tool in treating children suffering the mental, emotional, and physical effects of trauma. She discusses the theory and practice of Clay Field therapy using dozens of case examples and more than 200 images.
Working within a fun, safe, and trusting environment, children respond with their embodied braced, chaotic, or dissociated structures of the past, but are then able to foster new sensorimotor experiences that enhance self-esteem, empowerment, and a restoration of developmental deficits. Child therapists will find this book to be a valuable tool--working with a Clay Field can reach even the earliest developmental trauma events, repairing their damage through the haptic hands-brain connection.
CORNELIA ELBRECHT is a leader in groundbreaking art therapy techniques with a particular focus on healing trauma. An art therapist with over 40 years' experience, she is a renowned author and educator, and the Founder and Director of the Institute for Sensorimotor Art Therapy.

She studied at the School for Initiatic Therapy in the Black Forest, Germany and holds degrees in fine arts and arts education along with extensive postgraduate training in Jungian and Gestalt Therapy, Bioenergetics, and at the Somatic Experiencing Training Institute.

Best known for her cutting edge work with guided drawing and clay field therapy, she holds regular workshops around the world and at Claerwen Retreat in Apollo Bay, Australia, an internationally respected arts therapy education facility. Author of numerous books, she runs accredited online courses for art therapists, educators and mental health professionals looking to understand a body focused art therapy approach to trauma therapy.
Product Details ISBN: 9781623176716
ISBN-10: 1623176719
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication Date: November 2nd, 2021
Pages: 448
Language: English
“In spending a fruitful day with Heinz Deuser discussing his Clay Field approach, it was clear there was a close ‘bottom-up’ relationship between his work and my work in Somatic Experiencing. Cornelia, a student of ours, has immersed her many years of expertise in somatic-based trauma healing and teaching of Clay Field Therapy into her new book, Healing Trauma in Children with Clay Field Therapy. I recommend her book not only to child practitioners but to therapists and body-workers of all kinds.”
—Peter A. Levine, PhD, author of Waking the Tiger and In an Unspoken Voice

“Cornelia Elbrecht’s extensive experience, life’s work, research, and development of sensorimotor
art therapy have been sophistically synthesized into this significant text. Considerable insights into the critical and transformative therapeutic work with children are elevated through a carefully constructed framework against the backdrop of active engagement and profound clinical case material....The contents of this text will certainly equip and further inform practitioners at any stage in their career, including the most seasoned.”
—Ronald P.M.H. Lay, MA, AThR, ATR-BC, registered and credentialed art therapist, consultant, supervisor, and program leader of the MA in Art Therapy program at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore

“Elbrecht describes elegantly how interacting with a clay field can awaken our senses, particularly
our sense of touch, thus facilitating a feeling of embodiment, agency, connection, and trust, functions that are sorely lacking in the aftermath of trauma. Through this unique, bottom-up approach, we are reminded how sensory input can have a transformative effect on how we interact with ourselves and the world. Working with the clay field, among other therapies focusing on sensorimotor input, has the potential to transform our understanding and treatment of trauma-related disorders.”
—Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry, and director of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research unit at the University of Western Ontario

“Too often art therapy focuses on emotions and emotional expression rather than engaging sensorial impressions. The discovery of interoceptive wisdom, especially for traumatized children, is the purpose of the Clay Field.... [Elbrecht] intimately understands the haptic vocabulary of clay as a language for supporting a traumatized nervous system.”
—Michael A. Franklin, PhD, ATR-BC, professor at Naropa University, Boulder, Colorado

“Touch is an important sensory experience for children who have suffered complex trauma. For many of them, the very integrity of their bodies has been violated. It is why Cornelia Elbrecht has given us a gem of a book. It shows how playing, pushing, scraping, moulding clay can heal. It is meaning-making at its best.”
—Dr. Joe Tucci, CEO of Australian Childhood Foundation

“Elbrecht’s pioneering approach, Clay Field Therapy, adds fresh methods and insights for healing through trauma that meet the client where they are—whether needing to work at a sensorimotor level with the clay for safe contact or release, rewrite a trauma narrative using figurines with the clay, or integrate other arts therapies approaches to enhance the safety and processing of material. Elbrecht’s approach powerfully demonstrates how to help clients find their body’s innate wisdom toward healing—that unfolds within a safe therapeutic relationship and creative process.”
—Laury Rappaport, PhD, MFT, REAT, ATR-BC, author of Focusing-Oriented Art Therapy

“A must-read.... The Clay Field Therapy, described in detail, uniquely and importantly provides a nonverbal and noncognitive, haptic approach to the treatment of all trauma types, including the difficult-to-treat complex trauma of early childhood. Her work, spanning decades, shows time and again the real benefits to these children and corresponds beautifully with the neurophysiology of stress and trauma. In particular, I loved the way the work could be understood within the multiple vagal functions outlined in the polyvagal theory. This radical work has immense scope and opens the way for a deeper understanding.”
—Heidi Chapman, BSc (psych), PhD, cognitive neuroscientist