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The Handbook of Child Life: A Guide for Pediatric Psychosocial Care, Second Edition
Thompson, Richard H.
Charles C. Thomas, Publishers / Softcover / 2018-04-01 / 0398092125
Infant, Child & Adolescent / Medicine: Pediatrics
price: $89.95 (may be subject to change)
642 pages
Not in stock - available within 4 weeks.

Child life is a profession that draws on the insights of history, sociology, anthropology and psychology to serve children and families in many critical stress points in their lives, but especially when they are ill, injured or disabled and encounter the hosts of caregivers and institutions that collaborate to make them well. Children and their families can become overwhelmed by the task of understanding and navigating the healthcare environment and continue to face challenges through their daily encounters. It is the job of child life professionals to provide care and guidance in these negotiations to serve as culture brokers, interpreters of the healthcare apparatus to family and child and the child to medical professionals. Despite the best efforts to provide quality, sensitive psychosocial care to children and their families, they remain vulnerable to lingering aftereffects. The goal of this revised edition is to help prepare child life specialists to deliver the highest level of care to children and families in the context of these changing realities. Each chapter has been substantially revised and two new chapters have been added. This book will be a valuable resource for not only child life specialists but also nurses, occupational and recreational therapists, social workers and other hospital personnel.


...The author of the CLC Bulletin book review for the original version of The Handbook of Child Life offered praise that the book contains a vast amount of knowledge and topics spanning the profession and has an array of authors with a variety of education, background, experience, and voices (Ayoub, 2012.) This praise is still relevant for the 2018 edition. One of the previous critiques, however, as well as a stated goal of the updated version, was to increase the amount of current research cited within the book. Indeed, throughout the book, there is an obvious increase in both the number of sources as well as the addition of more recent literature, including some articles from 2016 and 2017

...Stylistically, this newer volume contains more academic, updated language and eliminates outdated information in several areas. This is apparent from the beginning, as the first several paragraphs of the first chapter provide a more formalized, detailed account of how childhood has been viewed over the centuries

...Importantly, this new edition contains updated information for child life professionals, particularly on the topics of research and technology use. Thompson, Bennett, and Snow (2018) highlight the importance of research and evidence-based practice and mention the Association of Child Life Professionals' efforts to increase access to research results on clinical practice through publications and newsletters. Thompson et al. note a "formal, professional need to locate and apply research findings in conjunction with the heightened awareness and inclusion of evidence-based practice" (Thompson et al., 2018, p. 56), and provide examples of increased child life involvement in research efforts since 2009. The book also examines how technology and data methods have been used to create new tools useful for clinical practice as well as research, such as the Psychosocial Risk Assessment in Pediatrics (PRAP). The use of iPads and video games as teaching and recreational modalities is explored as well.

Several entirely new chapters are included, focusing on increasingly relevant topics for child life such as the development of one-person programs and community-based practice. Chapter 11 "One-Person Child-Life Programs" reads almost as a "how-to" guide with excellent advice for anyone seeking to start and sustain a one-person program...

Laura Cronin MPP, CLS

-Children's National Health System, Washington, DC

Nicole Johnson, MA, CCLS, CIMI

-Inova Children's Hospital, Fairfax, VA

This review originally appeared in the summer issue of ACLP Bulletin, a member publication of the Association of Child Life Professionals.

Table of Contents:

Contributing Authors


1. The Story of Child Life

2. Theoretical Foundations of Child Life Practice

3. Research in Child Life

4. Therapeutic Relationships in Child Life

5. Communication and Child Life .

6. Patient- and Family-Centered Care and the Implications for Child Life Practice

7. Assessment and Documentation in Child Life

8. Paradigms of Play

9. Psychological Preparation and Coping

10. Program Administration and Leadership

11. One-Person Child Life Programs

12. Child Life Interventions in Critical Care and at the End of Life

13. Working with Grieving Children and Families

14. Chronic Illness and Rehabilitation

15. The Emergency Department and Ambulatory Care

16. Child Life and Education Issues: The Child with a Chronic Illness or Special Healthcare Needs

17. Child Life in the Community and in Other Non-Traditional Roles

18. Child Life: A Global Perspective


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Charles C. Thomas
Infant, Child & Adolescent
Medicine: Pediatrics