This book is a must-read for counselors and psychotherapists who work with children and young people. Colleen McLaughlin and Carol Holliday, also drawing on the expertise of other renowned practitioners in the field, have provided a comprehensive and engaging guide which will help all of us who work in this field to better find our way through the joys, challenges and complexities of working therapeutically with children and young people within multi-disciplinary contexts. This applies particularly to counselling in schools, but I would recommend this book to those who work therapeutically with children or young people in any setting. The ecological approach the authors propose valuably locates the therapist’s role within the wider picture around the child or young person, advocating wider involvement in this as a support for therapeutic work, while working through the professional issues arising.
This enlightened approach, informed by extensive practice and training experience, is further bolstered by the use of a relational and integrative framework for making sense of the unique
needs of each child or young person we might come into contact with, as well as lots of relevant and practical ideas to deepen and enliven therapy sessions. Practitioners will also find the detailed exploration of developmental stages and their implications for meeting the child or young person ‘where they are’ very useful, as well as the carefully considered discussions on ethical and professional aspects of their work. There is also a valuable section dedicated to working in schools, reflecting the importance of this setting as a base for the provision of counseling and psychotherapy for children and young people.
All of the themes discussed are supported across the book by well informed and presented use of relevant information, recent research and pertinent theory, as well as numerous composite case vignettes which bring the ideas and insights presented to life. This is the book many of us working in this field as practitioners and trainers have been waiting for, as it draws together the many strands which run through therapeutic work with children and young people to produce a vibrant collage of clinical, practical and creative elements which will stimulate thinking and support best practice. This book also provides an excellent introduction for those new to this area, or those training to work therapeutically in it. Colleen McLaughlin and Carol Holliday have more than done justice to the importance of providing high quality therapeutic interventions for our children and young people. Very strongy recommended.