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Sinason, V. (2016). Clinical commentary by Valerie Sinason, child, adolescent and adult psychotherapist and adult psychoanalyst. J. Child Psychother., 42(3):352-357.

(2016). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 42(3):352-357

Clinical commentary by Valerie Sinason, child, adolescent and adult psychotherapist and adult psychoanalyst

Valerie Sinason

Clinical commentary by Valerie Sinason, child, adolescent and adult psychotherapist and adult psychoanalyst

Charlie is 13. Together with a lifetime of trauma, he has also shown sexualised behaviour towards other children. He is extremely fortunate to be seeing a child psychotherapist, who is committed to his treatment, albeit only once weekly, as, despite the increasing concern about the multi-factorial markers of deprivation and trauma that lead to such behaviour, there is still little national clinical resource or capacity to properly grapple with children who suffer in these ways. In addition, psychotherapy can not only offer Charlie a chance to change across the period of his own adolescence but also to minimise the chance of generational transmission to a future child. In the Minnesota study (Sroufe et al., 2005) a key finding was that parents who had experienced maltreatment in their childhood but did not subsequently maltreat their own children had experienced at least six months of therapy.

However, it is sadly not surprising that despite the concerns he has raised from the age of five to 13, it has taken to this point for something more substantial to begin. The 2006 Home Office Report (Hickey et al., 2006) found that the average age for a specialist assessment for such a problem was in the child’s 13th year. Additionally, it has been a consistent finding that young people are responsible for the greatest amount of crime (Cooper and Roe, 2012) with 14–16 years being the most prevalent period.

[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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