Counseling at the Beginning is a thorough, practice-based guide for counselors who serve the mental health needs of very young children and their families. Chapters based on current developmental psychology research prepare mental health, school, and addictions counselors to work with pregnant women and children under the age of 5. Discussion of topics such as brain development, self-regulation, trauma, prenatal alcohol and drug exposure, and toxic stress prepares providers to meet the needs of this growing area of practice. Concrete information about how and when to intervene, written by experts working in the field, is accompanied by lists of resources for further learning at the end of each chapter.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Early Childhood Mental Health, Catherine Tucker 1. Attachment: The Foundation of Mental Health, Catherine Tucker 2. Prenatal Brain Development: A Foundation for All Brain Development, Franc Hudspeth and Kimberly M. Matthews 3. Beginning at the Beginning, Evette Horton and Kim Andringa 4. Counseling Infants and Families, Evette Horton 5. Counseling Toddlers (13-47 Months) and Their Families, Kelley Munger, Brijin Gardner, and Kelly Davis 6. Preschool to School-Aged (48-72 Months) Children, Catherine Tucker 7. Getting Creative: Using Play and Expressive Arts, Sondra Smith and Jenn Pereira 8. Working Across Systems of Care, Catherine Tucker, Kay Schieffer, Nina Medyk, and Ceymone Dyce
Catherine Tucker, PhD, LMHC, RPTS, is the research director at The Theraplay Institute and a counselor in private practice. She has more than 15 years of direct counseling experience working primarily with young children and their families and was president of the Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling from 2017 to 2019.
"This comprehensive resource is grounded in theory and cutting-edge research, offering a holistic view of young people. Throughout the book, child and adolescent counselors have access to developmentally appropriate strategies for prevention, treatment, and advocacy, which will undoubtedly have a lasting positive impact in the lives of many children and their families."—Simone Lambert, PhD, LPC, NCC, counseling core faculty at Capella University and president (2018-2019) of the American Counseling Association
"Counselor education has long neglected knowledge and preparation of counselors to work with young children. In this timely book, Dr. Tucker highlights education and skill-building with counselors to serve the needs of children and parents in navigating early childhood. Addressing prenatal wellness and brain development, as well as the role of counselors as systemic partners, among other topics, the authors provide a picture of early childhood that helps prepare counselors to work effectively with this population."—Dee C. Ray, PhD, LPC-S, NCC, RPT-S, professor and director of the Center for Play Therapy at the University of North Texas