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Alcorn, D. (2005). Simultaneous Treatment of Parent and Child Saralea E. Chazan London: Jessica Kingsley, 2003 240 pp., £15.95. J. Child Psychother., 31(1):143-146.

(2005). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 31(1):143-146

Simultaneous Treatment of Parent and Child Saralea E. Chazan London: Jessica Kingsley, 2003 240 pp., £15.95

Review by:
David Alcorn

‘This important area of clinical practice’ is how Margaret Rustin describes ‘work with parents’ in her introduction to the EFPP clinical Monograph which carries that title (Rustin, 2000), and several remarkable papers in recent issues of the Journal of Child Psychotherapy (2003; Palacio Espasa, 2004) and elsewhere (Barrows, 2003) have confirmed that observation. Indeed, as Christine Frisch-Desmarez (2004) points out, ‘these new ideas emphasize in particular the impact of the family unconscious on child development and force us to re-think the individual treatment procedures used in the field of psychoanalytic psychotherapy’. Saralea Chazan's book, now in its second edition, is an important contribution to the discussion of the many questions raised by this kind of work - all the more so, perhaps, in that her approach is somewhat eclectic.

It is therefore probably better to begin by having as clear an idea as possible about what the author means by ‘simultaneous treatment of parent and child’; Chazan defines this in the first page of her Introduction as ‘the treatment of both members of a dyadic relationship, parent and child, separately by the same therapist’. Therein perhaps lies a problem… This, then, is no ordinary (and, nowadays, classic) approach in which a child has individual psychotherapy with his or her therapist, while the parents (both, if possible) are seen regularly or in parallel by the referring consultant or some other therapist - but in any case not the one who is working with the child.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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