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Trowell, J. Rhode, M. Miles, G. Sherwood, I. (2003). Childhood Depression: Work in Progress: Individual child therapy and parent work. J. Child Psychother., 29(2):147-169.

(2003). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 29(2):147-169

Childhood Depression: Work in Progress: Individual child therapy and parent work1

Judith Trowell, Maria Rhode, Gillian Miles and Ildiko Sherwood

This paper presents preliminary findings from two children who were offered time-limited individual psychotherapy in London as part of a three-centre, ERC BIOMED funded prospective outcome study on childhood depression. The study was co-ordinated from London, the other centres being Athens and Helsinki. The comparative design of the study is described, as well as the research instruments used. The children were offered 30 sessions of manualized individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy, which were tape-recorded; parents were offered 15 sessions of parallel parent work. Both children showed substantial improvement on the instruments used to assess depression, including a marked sleeper effect on follow-up; their mothers’ attitude towards them became less enmeshed and critical. A preliminary qualitative analysis suggests that the Childhood Depression Inventory, one of the instruments used, selects a population of depressed young people who are characterized by particularly salient existential anxiety.

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