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Hill, P. (1986). Anxiety in Children edited by V. P. Varma. Published by Croom Helm: Beckenham, 1984; 222 pp.; £14.95.. Brit. J. Psychother., 3(1):89.

(1986). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 3(1):89

Anxiety in Children edited by V. P. Varma. Published by Croom Helm: Beckenham, 1984; 222 pp.; £14.95.

Review by:
Peter Hill

Handicapping anxiety in childhood is virtually always managed by psychological methods and rightly so. Over the last decade the principal developments in such treatment have largely been behavioural or derived from whole family treatments. Matching attachment theory to clinical observation has become a commonplace endeavour in formulation and delineation of the natural and normal history of childhood fears is firmly established as a research activity though as yet incomplete.

Little in this small multi-author book reflects this. Barker provides a sensible but low-key chapter on assessment and family dysfunction. Likewise Herbert comments on behavioural management in appropriate but general terms. There is a useful chapter by Burton on anxiety produced by physical illness and treatments but otherwise the contributions could have been written at any time in the last forty years. Some offerings are frankly quaint.

The editor does not contribute and, alas, does not appear to have harnessed his contributors to plough any consistent furrow. In particular no recognisable definition of anxiety emerges. I am not sure who this book is intended for; I doubt it will enlighten readers of this Journal.


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