In this book, Peter Blake articulates his clinical practice of child and adolescent psychotherapy. A clear conceptual framework and historical context is provided for the work. The book is then structured to follow the therapeutic process, from assessment (referral and initial interview, individual assessment, developmental considerations, assessment for therapy, working with parents) to therapy (physical and mental settings, interpretation, the role and challenges of play, transference and countertransference, termination). Drawing on the Winnicottian tradition, in which fun and humour have a place in child and adolescent work, Blake demonstrates how a therapist can be playful and less directly interpretative. How psychodynamic thinking can be applied in an effective yet time-limited manner is also demonstrated. The text is enlivened by many case studies and clinical anecdotes.For therapists who are new to child and adolescent psychotherapy, and who wish to take a psychodynamic approach, the book will provide a valuable introduction.
For professionals who refer to or work with child and adolescent therapists, the book will provide insight into the field, dissipating much of the mystique and misunderstanding that surrounds this work. Experienced child and adolescent therapists will find of interest how Blake integrates a Kleinian, Object-Relations approach with more Interpersonal (now, Relational) thinking.