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Using Superheroes in Counseling and Play Therapy

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Using Superheroes in Counseling and Play Therapy

SKU# 9780826102690


  • Lawrence C. Rubin PhD, LMHC, RPT-S

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Harness the Therapeutic Power of the Superhero!

  • Application of the Star Wars Adoption Narrative
  • Emotional Literacy and the Incredible Hulk
  • Batman and Trauma
  • What Would Superman Do--An Adlerian Approach?

With an incisive historical foreword by John Shelton Lawrence and insight from contributors such as Michael Brody, Patty Scanlon, and Roger Kaufman, Lawrence Rubin takes us on a dynamic tour of the benefits of using these icons of popular culture and fantasy in counseling and play therapy. Not only can superheroes assist in clinical work with children, but Rubin demonstrates how they can facilitate growth and change with teen and adults. Early childhood memories of how we felt pretending to have the power to save the world or our families in the face of impending danger still resonate in our adult lives, making the use of superheroes attractive as well, to the creative counselor.

In presenting case studies and wisdom gleaned from practicing therapists' experience, Lawrence Rubin shows how it is possible to uncover children's secret identities, assist treatment of adolescents with sexual behavior problems, and inspire the journey of individuation for gay and lesbian clients, all by paying attention to our intrinsic social need for superhero fantasy and play.

Product Details 

  • Publication Date December 20, 2006
  • Page Count 368
  • Product Form Hardback
  • ISBN 13 9780826102690
  • EISBN 9780826101327

Table of Contents 

Foreword, John Shelton Lawrence, Morningside College, Emeritus

    Section I: Traditional Superheroes in Counseling and Play Therapy
  1. Introduction: Look, Up in the Sky! An Introduction to the Use of Superheroes in Psychotherapy, Lawrence C. Rubin
  2. Superheroes in Therapy: Uncovering Children's Secret Identities, Robert J. Porter
  3. What Would Superman Do? Cory A. Nelson
  4. Superheroes and Sandplay: Using the Archetype through the Healing Journey, William McNulty
  5. The Incredible Hulk and Emotional Literacy, Jennifer Mendoza Sayers

  6. Section II: Superheroes and Unique Clinical Applications
  7. Holy Franchise! Batman and Trauma, Michael Brody,
  8. Making a Place for the Angry Hero on the Team, Harry Livesay
  9. A Super Millieu: Using Superheroes in the Residential Treatment of Adolescents with Sexual Behavior Problems, Karen Robertie, Ryan Weidenbenner, Leya Barrett, and Robert Poole
  10. Superheroes are Super Friends: Developing Social Skills and Emotional Reciprocity with Autism Spectrum Clients, Patty Scanlon
  11. Superheroes in Play Therapy with an Attachment Disordered Child, Carmela Wenger
  12. Luke, I Am Your Father! A Clinical Application of the Star Wars Adoption Narrative, Lawrence C. Rubin
  13. Section III: Non-Traditional Therapeutic Applications of Superheroes
  14. Becoming the Hero: The Use of Role-Playing Games in Psychotherapy, George Enfield
  15. To Boldly Go! Star Trek Superheroes in Therapy, Jeff Pickens
  16. Hypnosis and Superheroes, Jan Burte
  17. Heroes Who Learn to Love Their Monsters: How Fantasy Film Characters Can Inspire the Journey of Individuation for Gay and Lesbian Clients in Psychotherapy, Roger Kaufman
  18. Afterword
  19. Appendix