We each have a mental image of 'a child'. Often this is a stereotypical child aged about 5 to 10 years old. But childhood covers the whole period from birth to adulthood, and of course every adult is also somebody's child. In this chapter the term 'child' will be used to refer to anyone who is not an adult, but who has matured sufficiently to develop a clear concept of themselves as individuals and of the nature of the real world around them. The ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is an important prerequisite for psychotherapy. This develops as a gradual process with an important stage at 2.5 years of age when children normally start to refer to themselves as 'I' for the first time. Another stage occurs around 7 to 8 years of age when children develop a clear understanding of time and of the real world. If the therapist ignores these developmental issues it is likely that treatment will be harmful rather than helpful.

Psychotherapy is a very general term that implies treatment of mental dysfunction by psychological rather than physical methods. The aim is to improve function by changing cognition and emotions through the therapeutic relationship, by means of language, play, art, or drama. Dynamic child psychotherapy can be defined as a specialized technique where the primary aim is to explore a child's conscious and unconscious thoughts, feelings, and conflicts in such a way that inner resources become strengthened and enabled. It is child-led so that the child is able to follow and explore his or her own agenda, thus helping the child to make sense of the world and to find his or her own solutions to problems and dilemmas. Therapy is mediated by language, which can either be verbal or non-verbal and may use play or creative activities such as drawing, painting, and modelling. Counselling children is very similar, but the therapist usually takes a more passive role than in psychotherapy and would not be so concerned with the interpretation of unconscious processes.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment