Children with Conduct Disorders: A Psychotherapy Manual

Children with Conduct Disorders: A Psychotherapy Manual

Children with Conduct Disorders: A Psychotherapy Manual

Children with Conduct Disorders: A Psychotherapy Manual

Synopsis

The disruptive and oppositional behavior of children with conduct disorders makes this population among the most difficult to treat. Yet even though well over half the children in therapy carry this diagnosis, there has been no empirically based, comprehensive approach to psychodynamic treatment. This new book admirably fills that gap. Written by an outstanding team of clinician-researchers working within an ego psychology and object relations framework, it presents three tested methods of treatment and shows how they can be used alone or in combination. The goal of each is to help the child manage aggression and express feelings in a way that is both communicative and safe. Individual play therapy seeks to strengthen the child's ego; in parent-training therapy the therapist serves as a model of good parenting behavior; and in play group therapy peer interaction helps enhance the child's sense of mastery and self-control. Rich transcripts from actual sessions and step-by-step exposition of play techniques and verbal interventions make this humane and practical book the ideal guide for both beginning and seasoned therapists.

Excerpt

This book grew out of the combined efforts of a group of clinicians striving to distill their therapeutic experience to advance teaching and research in psychotherapy with children. The focus on children with conduct disorders was a reflection of a common concern with a frequently encountered and difficult-to-treat clinic population. This clinical perspective was complemented by a theoretical interest in the means of transforming action-oriented behaviors into the language of subjective experience.

Our theoretical framework is ego psychoanalytic object relations theory. Attachment theory, learning theory, and the dynamics of group processes are included within this larger framework. We feel this integration of theoretical approaches contributes to the scope of our understanding. It was instructive to us that such a synthesis is not only possible and feasible but also enriching.

There are many individuals who assisted us in seeing this project reach fruition in the form of this volume, in particular our colleagues Fern K. Azima, Howard Kibel, and Robert C. Lane, who were helpful in many ways. A special thanks to Saul Scheidlinger who inspired our work with these children in therapeutic groups. Discussions with Fellows in Child Psychiatry clarified our formulations. The following student therapists assisted in the contribution of some of the clinical vignettes: Devra Braun, Birgit Elias, Erika Koshei, and Henry Schwartz. We are grateful to our . . .

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