CPS5005 - Principles of child psychotherapy - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Jennifer Re


Ms Alexis Aytekin

Unit guides




CPS5001, CPS5002, CPS5003 and CPS5004


Must be enrolled in course code M6022


This unit will outline the principles of Child Psychotherapy from a developmental and psychoanalytic perspective. It will address the context and boundaries of therapy and explore ways the child communicates in therapy. It will also address issues of technique including the therapeutic use of the relationship between the child and the psychotherapist being the central tool in ongoing clinical work; the process of observing, hearing and interpretation in psychotherapy; issues of termination: and the structure, significance and dynamics of this process.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to have an understanding and knowledge of:

  1. the means by which the child communicates in therapy e.g. through play, speech and other behaviours;
  2. the significance and meaning of the way the child relates to the therapist i.e. 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.


  • Written assignment 1 (20%)
  • Written assignment 2 (20%)
  • Essay (40%)
  • On-campus workshop / Alternative assessment (20%)

All assessments must be passed to pass the unit.

Off-campus attendance requirements

Two day on-campus workshop.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study