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 Emerging Child-centred Practitioner

The emerging child-centred practitioner

Covered in this Chapter

  • Getting started – a personal overview
  • The effective therapist
  • Challenges confronting the therapist
  • The practitioner's relationship with parents and guardians
  • Confidentiality

Getting Started – a Personal Overview

From a variety of professional and personal backgrounds, adults are drawn to working with children and young people having their own reasons for wanting to work with people in that age group. Chapter 1 observed that the client-centred approach to interpersonal relations ‘requires that a person start from the same point that Rogers does – a point that has to be arrived at by each person in himself’ (Stevens, in Rogers and Stevens, 1967: xv). I want briefly to describe my complex and muddled journey towards working with children and young people. Counselling ...

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