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.

Associated Child-related Theories

Associated Child-related Theories

Associated child-related theories

Covered in this Chapter

  • Introduction
  • Period before birth
  • Early life experiences outside the womb
  • Forming significant relationships with others
  • Children – the expectations of others
  • Ongoing emotional development
  • Communicating through play


The preceding chapters established within the heart of person-centred therapy a foundation for child-centred therapy. This chapter reviews the work of some theorists and the contribution they have made to the child-centred way of being within the context of the six conditions described in Chapter 2. Bowlby, whose work on attachment theory (1940, 1949, 1951, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1969, 1973, 1980) provided a foundation for understanding the early parent/child relationship is but one example of a writer who has devoted significant time and energy to the study of children and young people. While questioning Bowlby's limited ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles