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Guthrie, J. (1971). Comments on the History of the Association of Child Psychotherapists (Non-Medical). J. Child Psychother., 3(1):5-6.

(1971). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 3(1):5-6

Comments on the History of the Association of Child Psychotherapists (Non-Medical)

Jess Guthrie

At this anniversary meeting, it may be of interest to our guests as well as to some of our younger members to have a brief account of the history of the Association. As this morning's programme allows for only ten minutes, it will be brief indeed and much, including the names of many people who have helped us in our development, will have to be left out.

Thinking around our beginnings takes us back to the early nineteen-thirties. At that time efforts were already being made towards the establishment of a professional body which would be concerned with the standards of work and conduct of those undertaking psychotherapeutic treatment with children. A small number of people had been qualified at the Institute of Child Psychology where the only existing course of training had been set up by Dr. Margaret Lowenfeld. Others had to get what training they could under their own initiative and with the help and supervision of the psychiatrists with whom they worked. The outbreak of war postponed any moves towards the setting up of a professional association. Psychotherapists, together with psychologists, teachers and social workers, were plunged into attempts to help in the problems raised by the evacuation of thousands of children into isolation from their families and from much that was familiar in their lives. Thirty years later, it is hard to remember that a great deal that is now accepted as basic knowledge has been formulated and published since that time. With grossly inadequate training and knowledge it was necessary to do what one could in meeting the needs of ordinary children suddenly separated from their parents, and of some children too disturbed to settle in strange families, as well as in giving support to the adults involved in their daily care.

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