Short-term Psychodynamic Therapy with Children in Crisis  book cover
1st Edition

Short-term Psychodynamic Therapy with Children in Crisis

ISBN 9781138951419
Published March 17, 2016 by Routledge
190 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In Short-Term Psychodynamic Therapy with Children in Crisis, Elisabeth Cleve presents the therapeutic stories of four children who have experienced trauma or are displaying dramatic clinical symptoms such as low self-esteem and anxiety. Exploring the situation between the individual child and the therapist, the therapeutic space and their experiences, each chapter follows the sessions and the progress made, concluding with a follow-up after the end of therapy.

Cleve explores each case as it progresses, emphasising the inner strength of the children and including the interactions between the therapist and the children’s parents. The focus of the psychotherapeutic encounter is in each case to help the child face the trauma, mourn what had been suffered and then move on in life with renewed strength. The final chapters explore the ethics of sharing case material and present Cleve’s reflections on working with traumatised children, and the book also includes forewords by Lars H. Gustafsson, paediatrician and associate professor of social medicine, and Björn Salomonsson, child psychoanalyst and researcher at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

This warm and readable work will be insightful reading for child psychologists and psychotherapists and other clinicians working with children who have experienced trauma. It will also be of interest to readers wishing to learn more about the processes of psychotherapy with children.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Lars H. Gustafsson. Foreword by Bjorn Salomonsson. Author’s Preface. Introduction. 1. Grown-ups mustn’t do stuff like that to little kids, right? 2. How long will she be dead? 3. Children who feel second rate make others feel the same way. 4. A mother’s trauma becomes her son’s trauma. 5. Sharing narratives with child patients. 6. The child psychologist’s reflections after concluded work. Bibliography. Appendix I, Written agreement between parents and psychologist. Appendix II, Written agreement between child and psychologist.

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Elisabeth Cleve was a psychologist, child psychotherapist and supervisor who worked at the Erica Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden, from the mid-1970s until her untimely death in 2013. Respected as a clinician and well-known as a supervisor, she also wrote several books about the psychotherapeutic process which were acclaimed for their accessible style. Two of her previous books were also translated into English.


‘Elisabeth Cleve describes her young patients in such a loving manner. She consistently underscores the positive aspects of the processes she depicts. The reader is both happy to meet these children and awed by them. What a strong spirit they show! And what imaginative survival strategies they come up with!’ - Lars H Gustafsson, from the foreword

‘The stories about Ronia and the other children show not only Elisabeth’s literary talent but also how she dealt with the issues of anonymity and ethics referred to above. I hope these stories will capture the reader’s imagination and interest. They are poignant, humorous, moving, bewildering and intellectually stimulating; in short they possess all the qualities that make for good reading.’ - Björn Salomonsson, from the foreword