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DCP0005 - Principles of child psychotherapy

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Ms J Adler


Clayton First semester 2007 (Off-campus)


This unit will outline the principles of Child Psychotherapy from a developmental and psychoanalytic perspective. It will address the context and boundaries of therapy, explore ways the child communicates in therapy and will address issues of technique.


At the completion of this unit students will be expected to have an understanding and knowledge of:

  1. the means by which the child communicates in therapy eg. through play, speech and other behaviours;
  2. the significance and meaning of the way the child relates to the therapist ie. an understanding of the concepts of transference ( the way the child perceives and relates to the therapist) and countertransference (the way therapist reacts to the child) and the possible meanings of these concepts and their importance;
  3. the use of interpretation in therapy - timing content and intention;
  4. the significance and importance of boundaries and structure provided by the therapist;
  5. termination - the process of bringing the therapy to a conclusion; and
  6. the impact of working with the disturbed child including the disturbed child in special situations - understanding this in a way which furthers understanding of the child and the therapeutic process.


Regular written assignments
Final written assignment
Interactive assessment via a residential workshop
1. Assignment 20%
2. Assignment 20%
3. Assignment 40%
4. Residential workshop 20%


DCP0001, DCP0002, DCP0003, DCP0004