Working psychotherapeutically with children

Waddell, Margot (2021) Working psychotherapeutically with children. In: Seminars in the Psychotherapies. RCPSYCH College Seminars Series . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 312-322. ISBN 978-1108711838

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The essential goals of the child and adolescent psychotherapist are not dissimilar to those of the adult therapist: to understand and render meaningful troubled aspects of the personality. The process brings insight to bear on the nature of the internal world and its mixed population of figures, benign and persecutory. Mental development occurs not so much through ‘ironing out’ the difficulties, but rather through ‘an increase in the capacity to bear reality and a decrease in the obstructive force of illusions’ [1, p. 51]. Bearing reality lies in being able to reintegrate aspects of the personality that have been disowned, or disavowed as too threatening to psychic equilibrium. The process of integration involves taking back projections and bearing the discomfort of being brought into relation with the less manageable aspects of the self. The method is based on the observation and interpretation of the transference and countertransference relationship, the elucidation of dreams and, in the case of children and adolescents, the underlying meaning of play and enactments of whatever kind that take place both in and outside the consulting room.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Psychotherapy
Department/People: Visiting Lecturer

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