Therapy referrals for a child or young person can be motivated for a number of reasons. The parents, carers or professionals responsible for their wellbeing might describe a sudden change in presentation, risk taking behaviour, such as self-harm or experimentation with drugs, alcohol or sex, or they might label the young person as over reacting, under reacting or attention seeking. Such behaviour prompts concern for their safety and confusion about why the child or young person is presenting the way they are. This book offers a thoughtful approach to making sense of such behaviour and encourages adults to ‘reflect on’ rather than ‘react to’ young peoples’ outward presentations.
Based on the author’s work with children, young people and families over two decades, this book shares reflections from the therapy room and illustrates how the therapist can try to make sense of mood, behaviour and presentations that previously made no sense. The content relies heavily on clinical experience as well as drawing on classical and contemporary psychotherapeutic literature.
So often adults find themselves reacting to observable behaviour in a judgmental or punitive way, rather than pausing to consider what the behaviour might be communicating. The author aims to model a thoughtful reflective approach to making sense of what might be going on for children and young people and this book will be of great interest to child and adolescent psychotherapists, related professionals and those with an interest in young persons’ mental health.