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Shopsin, S.F. (2002). A Model for Child Treatment: A Review of Techniques of Child Therapy: Psychodynamic Strategies, by Morton Chethik. Second Edition, Guilford Press, 2000. $35.00.. Psychoanal. Soc. Work, 9(1):85-93.
  

(2002). Psychoanalytic Social Work, 9(1):85-93

Essay Review

A Model for Child Treatment: A Review of Techniques of Child Therapy: Psychodynamic Strategies, by Morton Chethik. Second Edition, Guilford Press, 2000. $35.00.

Review by:
Susannah Falk Shopsin, C.S.W.

Morton Chethik has just published a new edition of his well-known book, Techniques of Child Therapy. Luckily, the new edition is not very different from the old, preserving the basic text intact. The major changes are the addition of two long, detailed case studies which allow for “the specifics of the clinical process with children and parents in a step-by-step presentation” (p. vii), modifications in the chapter on the central role of play, and the elimination of the chapter on the treatment of the younger neurotic child. The strengths of the original text remain, while the approach to child treatment has been further illustrated. This second edition, while not markedly different from the first, is a more comprehensive look at Chethik's approach to child treatment.

Chethik's book is an extremely valuable text for teaching techniques of child treatment. He presents work with children in the best tradition of child guidance clinics of the '50s, '60s and '70s, when psychoanalytically oriented, psychodynamic treatment was the norm, and the specter of managed care not even dreamed of. He writes with great clarity and precision about the different aspects of treatment. For example, in discussing taking a history at the beginning of an assessment, he notes several areas of difficulty: parents' resistances as they discuss a child's symptoms and history, and parents' distortions and lapses in their efforts to present themselves in the best light.

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