This engaging new book presents a ‘child-centred’ model of therapy that is thoroughly person-centred in its values. Establishing the roots of child-centred therapy in both child development theories and the Rogerian model, David Smyth demonstrates that counselling the person-centred way is exceptionally relevant to young people. The book further develops child-centred therapy theory and practice, applying the model to real-life practice with children and young people, whether in play, school, organisations or with those with special needs. It also explores the complex professional issues so critical with this age group, including challenging boundaries, establishing an effective relationship with parents and other primary carers, legal and ethical considerations, and multi-professional practice. The author's warm, accessible style conveys his passionate conviction that the person-centred approach can provide a strong foundation for child therapy practice. His book introduces humanistic counselling and psychotherapy trainees to the particular requirements of working with children and young people, and also illustrates the value of using a ‘child-centred’ approach for those who might already be working with children in mental health settings. Equally, this volume can be used for professional development in many disciplines including adult trained therapists who want to extend their knowledge of people prior to reaching adulthood.

The Person-centred Approach – Children and Young People

The Person-centred Approach – Children and Young People

The person-centred approach – children and young people

Covered in this Chapter

  • Introduction
  • Carl Rogers' influence
  • The humanistic/holistic nature of therapy
  • The practitioner's journey towards self-understanding
  • Developments in the person-centred approach
    • Focusing-orientated psychotherapy
    • Pre-therapy
    • Process-experiential psychotherapy
    • Other modalities
  • Being ‘child-centred’


This chapter briefly describes the person-centred approach and its recent developments. Just as people are in a constantly moving state of becoming through their lives, so it is with person-centred therapy.

Carl Rogers pioneered this approach to psychotherapy and, through his working life, continued to refine his earlier work. It is a lasting testimony to Rogers that others in the field have continued to explore and develop new perspectives, some of which have emerged from societal and technological developments that have become progressively more manifest since his death ...

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