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(2016). Clinical material. J. Child Psychother., 42(3):341-345.

(2016). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 42(3):341-345

Clinical Commentary

Clinical material

Clinical material


Charlie is a 13-year-old boy, referred to CAMHS following sexualised behaviour towards other children, since the age of five. There was also an allegation of sexual assault by Charlie towards his mother when Charlie was aged eight. The facts of this incident were not concluded, and it remains unclear to what extent it was perpetrated by Charlie.

Charlie’s parents both struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol. They separated soon after Charlie’s birth. Father stopped using alcohol and drugs when Charlie was an infant, and was given parental responsibility. However, Charlie continued to have sporadic and unsupervised contact with his mother. According to social services reports he was exposed to her sexual activity with men, and viewed pornography from an early age, as well as being cared for by her when she was under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Charlie’s mother then committed suicide when he was nine. In addition to this substantive trauma, while in the care of his father, Charlie was often left for periods of time alone and had to organise himself, for example, to get himself to school. His father struggled to understand and meet Charlie’s needs. Social services were on the point of removing Charlie for many years, and put different supports in place to help father in his care of Charlie. Eventually father’s cousins offered to care for Charlie following a social services investigation, which concluded that his father was unable to adequately provide for him.

[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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