Announcing the Release of Being Found: Healing the Very Young Through Relationship and  Play Therapy

Announcing the Release of Being Found: Healing the Very Young Through Relationship and 
Play Therapy
The intent in Being Found has been to address the raw work of the youngest in our culture. The hurt in these very young beings rests in pre-verbal experiences and, as such, demands a distinct approach to healing. This minority has not been understood through the lens of a much larger group identified as “children.”

Witnessing two – eight year olds requires that we therapists must be ready and willing to travel where development is still working out implicit memory and implicit reality. The implicit is an interior worldview that is feeling-driven, emotionally perceived, and restlessly stored in a memory that remains fluid and extremely permeable in relationship. Being Found addresses being remembered: finding where the child lives and where each child makes meaning from the relationship and events in their lives. And to find each child, one at a time, the therapist must be willing to have faith in herself and the child to drop down into the relationship the child initiates. This openness becomes the nourishment and the container for co-transference. In this effort, the child takes the lead, as the therapist remains conscientious to the many pathways the child might utilize to communicate. Oral language is not high on that list.

The unheard voices of our children must in themselves be understood. Voices from young children express themselves in behaviors, in how their bodies move through space, in felt attunement between adult and child, and in the play elements the child chooses. A vital pathway exists: to remain in the verbal silence, learning from each child just how that child speaks. Because the child’s interior world has come about through the feeling tones of rapport, that rapport is where their voices live.
This book explores when something has gone wrong. But more so, ultimately it is about righting the relationship through the same trust the child requires at birth. When harm has occurred, the psyche endeavors to defend the self from annihilation by concealing it for the sake of protection within deep unconscious regions of the psyche. In this hidden place, the child suffers somatically and emotionally until the lost aspects can be safely found and re-embodied. In this, the child and the therapist enlist a third entity, the Us in the relationship, to reclaim lost aspects of psyche, or Self. Several chapters explore what us means to the child, with the child’s expressions revealing this need for mutuality.

About the Author

Dott Kelly has worked with children for 45 years, dedicated to finding their own in-roads to their experiences. She has been a child mental health therapist working with young children and their families for about 35 years.
In 1999, Dott founded Jumping Mouse Children’s Center, focused on children ages 2½ through 12. She expanded her emphasis on young children while training and supervising over 60 therapists. Dott was recognized by Sandplay Therapists of America for her training in in-depth work of sand, symbol, and metaphor.

Trained in Sexual Assault programs, she has mentored domestic violence advocates working with children. Dott has consulted in school programs, in interagency meetings with state Child Protective Services, and in court systems. She teaches workshops in clinics and universities about infant trust, trauma, development, and working with the very young.