Dr. Toni Heineman’s Blog



Staff of A Home Within share their knowledge and the expertise they have gained through their many years of work in mental health.

Toni Heineman’s Newest Book

Relational Treatment of Trauma:

Stories of loss and hope

Relational Treatment of Trauma: Stories of loss and hope

Executive Director of A Home Within, Routledge (August 18, 2015), Toni Heineman, PhD

Detailed information available here.

A Home Within is pleased to share the following new publication.

In Conversation with Adam Phillips

Director of Fostering Relationships, Loong Kwok, Psy.D., interview. fort da, vol 21, 2015

Conversations with Clinicians
One Topic and Another, Part One
On March 15, 2014, Richmond Area Multi-Services (RAMS) invited Adam Phillips, author and psychoanalyst, to speak with the RAMS community. At this all-day event, he shared an unpublished essay on unforbidden pleasures and participated in three interviews about his work and his thoughts about psychoanalysis, community work, and culture. In the conversation featured here, Adam is interviewed about his recent book, One Way and Another: New and Selected Essays (2013, Hamish Hamilton).

Loong Kwok: This book, One Way and Another, is different from your other books, in that it’s a collection of previous essays, along with new essays. I imagine that you had to go over all your previous writings to select the ones for this book. I was wondering, what was the process by which you chose them?

Adam Phillips: It’s very difficult to know. Because, in a way, I chose the things that I liked most. I was urged by my publisher, understandably, that this should be in some way representative. It’s hard to know what it’d be representative of, in a way. So I chose things that still engaged me that also seemed to me to carry through certain preoccupations. As you can imagine, it’s not fascinating rereading all one’s stuff.

The Abused Child by Toni Heineman
The Abused Child: Psychodynamic Understanding and Treatment

By Toni Vaughn Heineman – Guilford Press (1998) IBN 1572303751
Capturing the complexities of working with abused children, Heineman explores the intrapsychic worlds of these youngsters and examines many of the paradoxes and complications encountered when treating them. The book traces the interplay of neurobiological and psychological facets of behavior to show how abuse derails normal development and how psychodynamic psychotherapy can reestablish emotional connections. Chapters highlight special issues involved when working with children who have been physically, sexually, and emotionally abused, exploring memory and disclosure, dissociation and externalization, and the relationship between action and spoken language. The book also addresses important factors in understanding and working with parents and caregivers and reviews such relevant legal issues as the process of court-ordered evaluations. Throughout, clinical vignettes illustrate the practical applications of concepts and theories discussed.

Building a Home Within by Toni Heineman
Building a Home Within: Meeting the Emotional Needs of Children and Youth in Foster Care

Toni Heineman, Diane Ehrensaft, Brookes Publishing Co., 2006


All children need stable, lasting relationships with caring adults to ensure their healthy emotional, cognitive, and social development. But for children and adolescents in foster care, these essential relationships are often absent. This book presents a proven solution based on over 10 years of groundbreaking work by the Children’s Psychotherapy Project (CPP): When young people work with the same therapist for as long as they need to, they’ll make better progress toward developing strong, healthy relationships and hope for the future. More than a dozen experts from the CPP give psychologists, social workers, counselors, and program administrators a complete, research-supported introduction to this successful “one child, one therapist, for as long as it takes” model as they share their triumphs and challenges. Through the lessons these therapists learned as they donated their time to weekly psychotherapy sessions, readers will gain new insight on how to build positive relationships with children. They’ll learn how to address various aspects of foster care.

Psychoanalytic Social Work by Toni Heineman
For As Long As It Takes: Relationship-Based Play Therapy for Children in Foster Care

Toni Heineman, June Madsen Clausen, Saralyn C. Ruff, Wendy Von Wiederhold, Psychoanalytic Social Work, 2012

The trauma of child abuse is magnified for children placed in foster care. The disruption, disorganization, and discontinuity experienced in foster care further extend the trauma of abuse. Effective treatment of foster youth must prioritize the basic need for children to experience continuity, stability, and permanency in attachment to a healthy adult(s). Short-term, symptom-focused interventions are inappropriate for this population of ethnically diverse, socioeconomically disadvantaged, underserved, multiply traumatized youths with complex psychiatric comorbidity. We describe a long-term, psychoanalytically oriented, relational play therapy intervention for foster youth and present initial empirical results describing the impact of this approach.

Interrupting Cycles of Early Loss, Trauma and Abuse
Interrupting the Cycles of Early Loss, Trauma and Abuse: Therapeutic Challenges

Toni Heineman, (2014)


This volume offers rich and detailed illustrations of the complex emotional needs of the children and parents in vulnerable families. The chapters also highlight the psychological toll that working with at risk groups takes on therapists and others charged with providing care for children and families whose internal worlds are often fragile and external worlds are often dangerous and chaotic. Above all, the contributions, whether taken together or individually make it abundantly clear that short-term solutions are simply not possible for adults or children who have been traumatized many times over. They also underscore the need for those working with traumatized groups to protect themselves from psychological exhaustion in order to maintain the emotional vitality that is necessary for effective work.

Treating Trauma by Toni Heineman
Treating Trauma: Relationship-Based Psychotherapy with Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults

Toni V. Heineman (Editor), June M. Clausen (Editor), Saralyn C. Ruff (Editor), Paula Ammerman (Contributor), 11 more, (2013)
Treating Trauma: Relationship-Based Psychotherapy with Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults presents a theoretically based and empirically supported framework for work with traumatized children, youth, and young adults who have spent time in foster care. It offers vivid examples of cases from the work of clinicians of A Home Within, a national non-profit focused on meeting the emotional needs of current and former foster youth. These nine case studies illustrate the vital role that relationships play in helping overcome the trauma of chronic, unexpected, and unexplained losses. They describe the work with clients, the collateral work, and also the therapists’ personal experiences of treating this vulnerable population.


Amazon Review

Format: Hardcover

Heineman, her co-authors and the diverse group of contributing therapists writing about their experience in their work for A Home Within offer us an excellent collection of clinically relevant material. The book has something to offer to all those interested in understanding more about the emotional and social challenges facing children and young people living in out of home care/the foster care system. The clarity of the writing,the clear voices of the therapists’ and their honest reflections and articulation of the some of the personal and professional difficulties and dilemmas they confront in this work is a rare find: too often case material avoids such reflection. “Treating Trauma” has the potential to be used as an excellent teacher resource for undergraduates in psychology, social work and related fields as well as within post-graduate professional trainings. I look forward to using in my work as clinical teacher and supervisor for child and youth mental health clinicians.

Julie Stone, Infant, Child & Family Therapist, Melbourne, Australia

Relational Treatment of Trauma by Toni Heineman
Relational Treatment of Trauma: Stories of Loss and Hope

Toni Vaughn Heineman, (2015)
Relational Treatment of Trauma: Stories of loss and hopeis the culmination of over 35 years of psychotherapy with children and adults, many of whom have suffered the effects of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. It addresses a gap in the literature on the treatment of trauma and chronic loss that are ubiquitous parts of life in foster care. While “trauma-informed care” has received considerable attention recently, there is little that focuses on the consequences of repeated, unexpected, and unexplained or unexplainable losses of caregivers.Relational Treatment of Traumaexplores the ways in which those experiences arise in the therapeutic relationship and shows how to help clients build the trust necessary for establishing healthier, and more satisfying and hopeful relationships.

Free Therapy Services for Foster Care Teens

“When you lose one relationship after another, it’s hard to trust that the next one will last.”

Therapy Services for Foster Youth