Therapy with Children: An Existential Perspective

Author(s) : Chris Scalzo

Part of The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy Series - more in this series

Therapy with Children: An Existential Perspective

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This book explores the existential themes and challenges present in all therapeutic relationships when working with children. Existential ideas and concepts are a rapidly growing influence on the practice of psychotherapy and yet their application to work with children remains largely unexplored. This book begins to redress this imbalance in a practical and engaging way by presenting an existential perspective on some key themes in practicing psychotherapy with children, including: play, anxiety, guilt, choice, family relationships, language and process. Each chapter is punctuated with engaging vignettes of case material, blending theoretical insight with the realities of practice. Through these narratives readers are challenged to question their own assumptions and beliefs whether they are new to existential psychotherapy or already immersed in its rich philosophical traditions.

Children are born into the world without choice and are drawn towards making connections with others, developing self-awareness and personal identity. As contemporary psychology and psychotherapy with children focuses increasingly on the importance of the therapeutic relationship, Therapy with Children: An Existential Perspective takes this as its starting point to develop a powerful model for practice.

Reviews and Endorsements

'In his book, Chris Scalzo not only manages to make difficult existential thought and ideas accessible and understandable, but by grounding them in thoughtful and sometimes moving examples, clearly demonstrates their relevance to clinical practice. In this way he has made an important contribution to existential therapeutic thought and has written a book that is of value to anyone - professional or otherwise - who truly cares about understanding and relating to children.'
- Paul McGinley, Chair of the Society for Existential Analysis, senior lecturer at Regents College on their Psychology MA & Doctorate and the Advanced Diploma in Existential Psychotherapy

'Illustrated throughout with vibrant case examples, this philosophically-rich text opens up an important dialogue about the application of existential ideas to therapeutic work with children. Useful reading, not just for existential therapists, but for practitioners of all orientations who put understanding, relating and a deep respect for their young clients before objectification and diagnosis.'
- Professor Mick Cooper, Professor of Counselling, University of Strathclyde, author of Essential Research Findings in Counselling and Psychotherapy: The Facts are Friendly

About the Author(s)

Chris Scalzo is a UKCP registered existential psychotherapist. He currently works full-time for the National Health Service as a therapist and clinical supervisor and is part of a county-wide specialist Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). He has previously lectured and taught post-MA psychologists in training on Existential Psychotherapy & Counselling, and has previously published philosophically based articles in the journal Existential Analysis. He has worked as a therapist with children and families across a wide range of settings and in his present role provides extensive training and specialized consultation to professionals from Health, Social Care, Education and the Voluntary sector. He is particularly interested in working with existential challenges faced by children living with physical and learning disabilities and their families, and direct work in special needs school constitutes a large part of his practice.

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