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12 and HoldingA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Lethal InheritanceA Mother's Courage: Talking Back to AutismA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA Special EducationA Toss Of The DiceA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainABC of Eating DisordersADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your LifeADHD Grown UpADHD in the Schools: Assessment and Intervention StrategiesADHD NationAdolescence and Body ImageAdolescent DepressionAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAlpha GirlsAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAsperger Syndrome and Your ChildAsperger Syndrome, Adolescence, and IdentityAsperger's and GirlsAssessment of Childhood DisordersAttention Deficit DisorderAttention-Deficit Hyperactivity DisorderAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderAutism - The Eighth Colour of the RainbowAutism and MeAutism's False ProphetsAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBeen There, Done That? DO THIS!Before I DieBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBipolar ChildrenBipolar Disorder in Childhood and Early AdolescenceBipolar DisordersBipolar KidsBlackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive DevelopmentBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoy AloneBrain-Based Therapy with Children and AdolescentsBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingBullying PreventionBut I Love HimCan't Eat, Won't EatCaring for a Child with AutismCatalystChild and Adolescent PsychiatryChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChild and Adolescent PsychopathologyChild NeuropsychologyChild Well-BeingChildren and SexualityChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren with Sexual Behavior ProblemsChildren, Sexuality and SexualizationChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneCommunication Issues In Autism And Asperger SyndromeConcepts of NormalityConcise Guide to Child 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Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTemple GrandinThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe Bipolar ChildThe Boy Who Loved WindowsThe Boy Who Was Raised as a DogThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully Action GuideThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Burn JournalsThe Color of AbsenceThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Evolution of ChildhoodThe Explosive ChildThe Eyes of van GoghThe Fasting GirlThe Field of the DogsThe Flight of a DoveThe Hidden Gifts of the Introverted ChildThe Horse BoyThe Identity TrapThe Inner World of a Suicidal YouthThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Kindness of StrangersThe Last Normal ChildThe Little MonsterThe Medicated ChildThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Perversion of YouthThe Philosophy of AutismThe 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Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhat's Happening to Tom?When Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhose America?Why Don't Students Like SchoolWill's ChoiceWinnicott On the ChildWorried All the TimeYou Hear MeYoung Minds in Social WorldsYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?

Related Topics
Therapy with ChildrenReview - Therapy with Children
Children's Rights, Confidentiality and the Law
by Debbie Daniels and Peter Jenkins
Sage Publications, 2000
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Jul 10th 2004 (Volume 8, Issue 28)

Therapy with Children is a misleading title for this book since it is actually more about the topic of the subtitle, concerning the legal and ethical issues that arise in psychiatric treatment of children.  The authors are based in the UK and so the legal details they provide apply only to the UK.  The book is short, and it has two main parts, starting with a discussion of theoretical frameworks and moving on to case examples.  A final short chapter discusses general issues about how to empower children.

The introductory chapter on children's rights explains some of the legal and governmental issues as they arise in the UK.  It provides a brief history of the concept of childhood and the development of children's rights, and some landmark decisions.  In 1987, in the town of Cleveland, 121 children were taken into care because there was suspicion of physical and sexual abuse, and an official inquiry after this, titled the Cleveland Report, recommended that children should be made part of the decision-making process in such cases.  This influenced the Children Act of 1989, which was a very important reform of child care law for the UK, introducing a concept of partnership between families and caregivers.  This move away from the priority of parents' rights was also apparent in the well-publicized Gillick case.  Victoria Gillick wanted assurance that none of her five daughters would be able to get medical treatment or contraceptive advice from doctors without her consent, but the courts decided that she did not have the absolute right to this and there could be occasions when her children might receive treatment without her knowledge.  The decision would depend partly on the psychological maturity of the child.  This decision has potentially important consequences for treating the psychological problems of children and adolescents. 

After a second chapter that provides an overview of psychoanalytic approaches to therapy with children, the third chapter addresses the excellent question of who is the primary client in child therapy.  Some readers may feel that there is too much mention of psychoanalytic theory here, specifically the ideas of Melanie Klein and other controversial theorists, but such discussions are brief, and are supplemented by more empirically grounded observations.  The authors' conclusion is very plausible: maintaining confidentiality is at the heart of the therapeutic process. 

Nevertheless, it is likely that the fourth chapter on the law relating to therapy with children will be more useful.  They discuss confidentiality in school and therapeutic settings and cover more of the important legal cases in which this issue has arisen.  These become even more relevant in the second part of the book where each of the four chapters is devoted to a particular case example.  These make fascinating reading, and could be excellent examples for further discussion even outside of the UK. 

So Therapy with Children will be particularly helpful for clinicians in the UK who work with young people, but it could be a valuable resource for others too.  I have used the cases when teaching ethical issues in clinical psychology, and they have provoked some valuable discussions. 

 

© 2004 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

 

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Review.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.


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