1st Edition

Core Principles of Assessment and Therapeutic Communication with Children, Parents and Families Towards the Promotion of Child and Family Wellbeing

By Ruth Schmidt Neven Copyright 2010
    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    Practitioners today are confronted by a bewildering array of therapies as ‘cure alls.’ This book provides an integrated approach to working with children, parents and families that can be applied by all professionals in a variety of settings. Informed by a psychodynamic perspective, it identifies how we can avoid pathologising the behaviour of children by instead considering:

    • the meaning of behaviour as an important source of communication
    • the commonality of all experience for children, parents and families
    • the emotional milestones of development
    • the core principles of assessment and therapeutic communication and how they are applied

    Through the presentation of sound clinical evidence and research Core Principles of Assessment and Therapeutic Communication with Children, Parents and Families creates connections between clinical practice and community action and, as such, is essential reading for anyone working to promote child and family wellbeing.

    Part I: Point of Departure. The rationale for the book: A return to core principles. Finding the meaning in communication: Setting the scene for work with children, young people and their parents – How the child ‘speaks’ the family. Providing a developmental scaffold for effective practice: Understanding emotional milestones. Part II: The Clinical Core. Practicalities of the assessment process: How to begin. Practicalities of therapeutic communication: How to continue. Part III: Application of Core Principles of Assessment and Therapeutic Communication. Applying core principles of assessment and therapeutic communication in schools, early childhood and health settings. Assessment and therapeutic communication in working with separation loss and trauma. Towards an organisational understanding of assessment and therapeutic communication: how the professional ‘speaks’ their organisation. Toward the promotion of child and family wellbeing: Identifying the commonality of all experience for children, parents and families. Bibliography.


    Ruth Schmidt Neven is a child psychotherapist, psychologist and researcher. She trained at the Tavistock Clinic in London and has worked with children, parents and families over four decades in the United Kingdom and Australia. She writes and lectures extensively on all aspects of child and family development and is currently director of the Centre for Child and Family Development in Melbourne.

    "This is a book that above all is subversive in its intent, but subversive in the most healthy and creative meaning of the term. It contains clinically sound convictions, but also an impassioned social and political awareness about how psychoanalytic thinking can function as a refuge in mental health services and as a resource to combat the dominant and depersonalising culture which so undermines attention to complexity... undoubtedly this book is an important resource for professionals who are inundated with information and guidelines, which run counter to their natural inclinations, to listen to the often inter-generational story their clients bring to the consulting room." – Joan Herrmann, Journal of Child Psychotherapy, Vol. 37, Iss. 1, 2011

    "Using her experience as a psychologist and psychotherapist1 Schmidt Neven has written a book that provides guidance for those working with children on how to place children's behaviour within a social and relational context in order to 'hear' what that behaviour may be communicating. By seeking to do this Schmidt Neven argues that ' professionals are acting as powerful advocates for the rights of children... Schmidt Neven's book... provokes us to think what lies behind behaviours, to wonder and be curious and thereby develop practices that promote children's mental health and wellbeing." - Anne Farrelly, International Journal of Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood, Vol 9, No 1, 2011