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A Critical Reflection On Child Maltreatment And The Use Of Child Parent Psychotherapy

2472 words - 10 pages

Clinical Implications
Within the application of CPP when working with children who have experienced trauma or abuse there are a number of clinical implications for therapists be aware of. Ippen et al (2011) suggest a need to target younger children, the necessity of including parents and working towards providing evidence-based services to meet client needs. The research cited above regarding the negative effects of childhood trauma supports the idea of targeting younger children. In counselling, with regards to including the parents and working with children O’Neill, Guenette and Kitchenham (2010) describe the first and most important aspect of counselling is the therapeutic relationship, ...view middle of the document...

In order to facilitate this growth the parent is invited to participate as a partner in the therapeutic process. The parent is encouraged to identify the obstacles of effective caregiving (Mascolo, 2009). Specifically, they are encouraged to participate in individual session to help identify what Lieberman (2007) identify as “ghosts” for the maladaptive behaviours in relationships to break intergenerational transmission. Lieberman (2007) describes how the parent works “to narrate their own past and present circumstances and the feelings associated with them enables the clinician to appreciate the role that the parent’s conflicts and defence may play in the aetiology and perpetuation of the child’s mental health problems” (p. 432). Suggesting that in some cases the parents individual work needs to become a therapeutic priority and focus of the interventions in order to help the child. With regards to the child, the therapist has to consider the context in which the child is coming from and view the symptoms as a result of the interactions they have experienced. Lieberman (2007) describes that when addressing the child’s behaviours, the therapist needs to listen for the underlying worry the child is demonstrating. When the parent’s affect is negative and critical the child experiences some confusion in wanting to accept and comply with the parent’s negative image as well as feel fear and anxiety towards the parent.
Toth and Gravener (2012) describe some key qualities a therapist should demonstrate; these include unconditional positive regard, non-judgment, empathy and an ability to form a strong therapeutic relationship. Furthermore, they describe how therapists should be able to form a strong working relationship with other community resources and liaison between the family and community to ensure basic needs are met. For this reason Lieberman (2007) recommends trauma informed training for all professional and paraprofessionals which will enable effective communication using the same language. This ability to form relationships with other professionals also models behaviour for the parents to learn. Some important implications for the therapist to be aware of include developing an understanding of what occurs between the parent and child in terms of the behaviours psychological and historical origins (Lieberman, Silverman, & Pawl, 2005). The therapist uses their observational skills to identify themes, defensive distortions, emotional nuances, and monitor the child’s development. One of the most effect techniques is described as modelling through the therapist’s empathic attitude and behaviours. Additionally, “the ability to be evenly attuned to the individual needs of the parents while remaining keenly devoted to their interpersonal experience with each other is a hallmark of the seasoned and skilful infant-parent psychotherapist” (Lieberman, Silverman, & Pawl, 2005, p. 482). In the important final stage of Herman’s (1997) model she speaks to...

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