Introduction: The rationale for the book ± a return to core principles
This book attempts to provide an integrated approach to work with children, parents and families that can be applied by all professionals, working in a variety of different settings. It is concerned with instating the rightful place of the professional and practitioner, and with enriching and expanding their clinical and observational skills in the service of child and family mental health. The core philosophy of the book is that of identifying the commonality of all experience that underpins a wide range of presenting problems. This is as opposed to foreclosing on, and compartmentalizing, children young people and their parents, solely according to the identi-®cation of pathology. At a time when professionals and practitioners are confronted by a bewildering array of therapies as `cure-alls', this book is intended to counter a fragmented approach to work with children, parents and families and the important people in their lives. Through its presentation of the core principles of assessment and therapeutic communication, the book highlights the following areas:
· The recognition that all behaviour has meaning and is a communication.