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Children and adolescents

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Children and adolescents

Working therapeutically with children and adolescents requires developmental considerations on top of the usual client-centred focus.  Developmental factors influence a child or young person’s capacity to engage in therapy, to understand and articulate the problem, and to participate in the therapeutic process safely and productively. 

Yet while many theorists and researchers inform our knowledge of child development and age-appropriate expectations, they must also be applied cautiously.  Acknowledging the limitations of the theory itself, its perspectives and historical context, allows us to work from a hypothetical stance that can be ‘tested’ for its fit with the young person, rather than applied and assumed absolutely. Children and young people attend with their own history and context, much of which is not presented initially upon referral.  The blending of our understanding of child development and it’s fit with the individual (and their story) in the room, is essential to best practice.

Read the following article.

Zelazo, P. D., & Lyons, K. E. (2011). Mindfulness Training in Childhood. Human Development, 54(2), 61-65.