A key theme of this book is that we urgently need a therapeutic ethos in order to bring both educational and therapeutic sensibilities to bear on the issue of children's wellbeing, if truly effective and appropriate policy responses to the current malaise are to be fashioned. Not least, we must pay particular attention to childhood experience, showing that scientific and technical developments are always secondary to the resources of the human soul, if we are to minimize the extent to which today's children will need therapy as adults. This will entail moving beyond narrowly mechanistic definitions of, and ways of thinking about, "well-being" and the psychological therapies. This book offers pointers to the kinds of arguments that can inform what is rapidly becoming a central concern of politicians and policy-makers.
Foreword -- Editorial introduction: ‘Therapeutic ethos’ in therapeutic, educational and cultural perspectives -- Childhood in Contemporary Perspective -- Childhood, well-being and a therapeutic ethos: A case for therapeutic education -- What is toxic childhood? -- The challenge of modern childhood -- The Good Childhood: An inquiry by the Children’s Society -- Childhood and Its Discontents the Specific Concerns -- Childhood ‘toxicity’ and ‘trauma’: Asking the right questions -- The changing space of childhood and its relationship to narcissism -- Why love matters in early childhood -- Towards a Therapeutic Ethos for Childhood -- Resisting images of the ‘diminished self’ in education policy and practice for emotional well-being -- The ‘mind object’ and ‘dream consciousness’: A Winnicottian and a Steinerean rationale for avoiding the premature ‘adultifying’ of children -- First catch your child -- Play, Playfulness, and Children’s Well-Being -- The importance of play and playfulness -- Everyday play activities as therapeutic and pedagogical encounters -- From playing to thinking: How the Kindergarten provides a foundation for scientific understanding -- Play—excerpts from They F*** You Up and Affluenza -- Editorial conclusion: Therapeia today (re-instating the soul in human experience)