NEW TO THIS EDITION: Revised and expanded chapters throughout incorporate significant changes in the field of dynamic child treatment over the last 15 years. New clinical illustrations represent a wide range of presenting problems from venues such as family service, community mental health, and outpatient child psychiatry, and illustrate aspects of therapeutic communication with children through metaphors. KEY FEATURES: Transcriptions of the actual stories told by children and reconstructions of specific therapeutic responses demonstrate how such techniques are actually used, lending additional clarity to clinical material. Specific information on how to use children’s projective stories in dynamic clinical assessment helps readers prepare to use strategies in their own clinical practice. Practical guidelines for identifying clients who are good candidates for storytelling include taking into account such factors as the child’s diagnosis, age, maturity, verbal ability, and resistance to engagement. Variations on the basic storytelling process range from non-reciprocal diagnostic techniques to stories used in conjunction with therapeutic games or other play techniques. Examples from the author’s case files illustrate storytelling with children suffering from attachment disorders, borderline disturbances, self-object disorders, and complex posttraumatic conditions. Chapter-ending discussion questions assist readers in discerning the most essential ideas and concepts.

Narrative and Historical Meaning in Child Psychotherapy

Narrative and Historical Meaning in Child Psychotherapy
3 Narrative and historical meaning in child psychotherapy

The psychodynamic literature on child diagnosis and assessment has traditionally emphasized the importance of data collection and integration as a prelude to treatment. As noted earlier, the therapist’s observation of the child in both clinical and naturalistic settings and of the child’s parents and siblings, the developmental history, psychological test reports, and consultations with teachers and pediatricians form a significant portion of the database. More detailed information regarding development of the ego and the self, development of libidinal and aggressive drives, and the child’s use of defenses also contributes critically to the foundation from which meaningful treatment evolves.

The assumption that some pathogenic event has ultimately given rise to the child’s ...

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