It's been a while since I've read this book so I searched online for a helpful review. This one matches my sentiments about the book:
"Dibs, five years old, is silent and withdrawn in the playgroup. If he responds at all, to anything, it is generally in monosyllables - "No, no, no!". He attacks the other children if they approach him. His New York background is upper class and wealthy, but at home he is often locked in his room as he is mute, unmanageable, an embarrassment. His father is a brilliant scientist, his mother was a top heart surgeon before the children were born. Maybe he should go to a school for the mentally retarded? The playgroup leaders are divided on this, and the assessment of the professionals is that they cannot fathom the problems.
Virginia Axline, a gifted therapist and a pioneer of play therapy, takes on this small frightened child and, over the course of many weekly one-hour play sessions, enables him to start to become the person he is meant to be. He is indeed an astounding child, gifted and highly sensitive. This is a classic of clinical cognitive psychology, the techniques and guiding philosophy are described with clarity and simplicity, the main verbal technique being reflective listening. The outcome is joyous, but the process of healing and devolpment is hard and emotionally demanding. The crying of the child and the crying of the parents are equally are full grief, and it is hard if not impossible to not grieve with them. This is an M. Scott Peck of a book, and I would recommend it to anyone; but particularly for all counsellors, special needs workers, and professional psychologists."
Michael JR Jose, Resident Scholar
He will not talk. He will not play. He has locked himself into a very special prison. And he is alone. This is the story of how he learned how to reach out for the sunshine, for life...how he came to the breathless discovery of himself that brought him back to the world of other children.
This book is an excellent example of Child-Centered Play Therapy, also known as non-directive play therapy. The author is an expert in this field. I highly recommend this book for students learning the technique, parents who seek to understand the process of play therapy and anyone who is interested in child developement and the effects of environment on mental health.