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Sapountzis, I. Hyman, S. (2012). Introduction. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 11(3):172-176.

(2012). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 11(3):172-176


Ionas Sapountzis and Stephen Hyman


The idea for a special issue of the Journal of Infant, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (JICAP) devoted to psychodynamic thinking and the practice of school psychology was first broached several years ago by Kirkland Vaughans, a school psychologist, psychoanalyst, and founder and former editor of JICAP, who felt that this topic should be covered more extensively in the psychoanalytic literature. One can argue that the majority of the articles published in JICAP are relevant to the work school psychologists do, since they dwell on the multiple challenges psychologists face in working with children who experience emotional, learning, and social difficulties. Yet regardless of how resonant such articles may be to practicing school psychologists, the application of psychodynamic thinking to the practice of school psychology has been relatively unexplored in the past few decades. In the United States, in the earliest years of the profession, school psychologists who worked as mental health practitioners were significantly influenced by psychodynamic thinking, and while many still are, there is very little in the recent literature to reflect this perspective. Over the past two decades, the profession of school psychology has become almost entirely defined by psychometric and quasi administrative priorities that emphasize symptom management and the streamlining of interventions and decision-making practices. Missing from the recent school psychology literature is the unique perspective a psychodynamic model of thinking can contribute to understanding intrapsychic conflicts and interpersonal dynamics that interfere with a student's learning and adjustment in school.

The present issue is an attempt to begin to change this process, to fill a void and to contribute to a body of literature that current and future school psychologists will find useful. It aims to give testimony to the work psychodynamically oriented school psychologists do, a process that will hopefully be followed by other papers and articles. The current volume reviews issues that range from assessment and parent and teacher consultation to racial disparities and the need of schools to serve as holding environments.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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