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Harris, M. Carr, H. (1966). Therapeutic Consultations. J. Child Psychother., 1(4):13-19.

(1966). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 1(4):13-19

Therapeutic Consultations

Martha Harris and Helen Carr


Many, possibly most, child psychotherapists are engaged for the greater part of their professional time in more or less long-term treatment of children for between one and five times a week. When so much of our time is given to the few, some of us have been concerned also with working out ways of making effective use of the insights derived from our analytical work, with a wider population and within a more limited time: for instance in dealing with or helping others to deal with urgent situations.

It is in this context that the following two papers were read and discussed at a meeting of the Association of Child Psychotherapists last Autumn, presented as different methods of approaching crisis situations in two families, each centering around a young child. The therapists involved responded differently in each case, acting in response to the situations as they presented themselves, rather than to any preconceived plan of operation. The method which Miss Carr used, responding to the child's communication to her of his salient anxieties by interpreting them at an unconscious level—is one which could be used only by an analytically trained therapist of some experience. This does not necessarily apply to the method used by Mrs. Harris in the first case described.

First Consultation (M. Harris)

Willie, aged 22 months, was referred for consultation by his family doctor. He had been restless, fretful and wakeful since birth. Paediatric examinations had yielded no evidence of organic abnormality; sedatives had been tried without avail.

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