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Pilowsky, D. (1991). Techniques of Child Therapy: Psychodynamic Strategies: Morton Chethik, Guilford Press, New York and London, 1989, 276 pp., $30.00.. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 19(4):674-676.
  

(1991). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 19(4):674-676

Techniques of Child Therapy: Psychodynamic Strategies: Morton Chethik, Guilford Press, New York and London, 1989, 276 pp., $30.00.

Review by:
Daniel Pilowsky, M.D.

This book is a clearly written manual of child therapy. Chethik first describes the assessment and specific techniques of psychotherapeutic work with children and illustrates these techniques through the presentation of clinical cases. The use of play and the work with parents are discussed in separate chapters. The second part of the book describes the treatment of the major psychopathologies in children, that is, the neurotic child, character pathology, the borderline, and the narcissistically disturbed child. The treatment of psychotic children is not addressed in this manual. The last three chapters deal with therapeutic work with parents. Several approaches to working with parents are described, including well-known techniques, such as parent guidance, as well as innovative ones, such as “transference parenting.”

The psychotherapeutic techniques and the clinical cases are presented in a didactic manner. It is worth mentioning that the case examples are presented in a more detailed fashion than in other monographs that deal with child psychotherapy. These case descriptions make the child patient and family come alive. The work with the parents is described in detail. Chethik deals not only with techniques that are useful in working with insightful parents but also with approaches that are appropriate for psychologically unsophisticated, resistant, and overwhelmed parents. For this reviewer this section is the most creative one.

Chethik's orientation clearly derives from the work of Anna Freud and her followers.

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