This book provides a clinical approach to assessment and intervention with infants and children (0-12-years-old) and their families who present to mental-health practitioners with emotional, behavioural, and/or developmental difficulties, including psychiatric disorders.
A wide range of common and not so common presentations is covered. Specialist chapter authors integrate evidence from research with their own clinical experience. Principles of assessment and intervention are outlined. De-identified case material is used to explore the complex interplay of developmental, environmental, socio-cultural, psychological, biological, and political factors in mental-health presentations, to outline how an experienced clinician can assess the contribution of these factors to the infant’s or child’s presentation, and to demonstrate how this impacts on decision making about diagnosis, treatment planning, and intervention. Cases are also used to examine controversial issues in the field, and the ethical dilemmas that confront practitioners. These include the relative weight given to biological and genetic risk factors in the aetiology of disorder, the marked increase in the diagnosis of ADHD and bipolar disorder in children, the complex impact of child abuse and neglect on symptomatic presentations, the inadequacy of current diagnostic classification systems, the role of medication in treatment, and the impact of systemic and resource factors on clinicians and families. Formulation and difficulties of diagnosis and differential diagnosis in developing children are emphasised. The importance of communication and collaboration with colleagues in various disciplines is stressed.
Drawing on developments in developmental psychology, neurobiology, and social science that have led to a new understanding of the importance of the early years, the book provides a broad developmental, relational, and psycho-social corrective to dominant biological models and approaches.
This authoritative, engaging, and readable book will prove of value to students and to experienced practitioners in a wide range of disciplines.