chapter  Two
Outlines of psychodynamic under fives’ counselling and theoretical background
WithMaria Emilia Pozzi
Pages 38

This chapter describes the model based on the Under Fives' Counselling Service founded at the Tavistock Clinic in the eighties. The Under Fives' Counselling Service offers up to five sessions to the parents and child, who can refer themselves to the clinic directly or be referred by their health visitors or doctors. The emotional difficulties of young children are expressed in physical and behavioural symptoms that are closely linked with the developmental phases of infancy and early childhood. A child's problem can be a reflection of either a difficult relationship with the child's internal object or of an unconscious parental way of expressing their early attachment. Family therapists often see the child as the symptomatic person in a dysfunctional family, but it is often that child who manages to summon help for the whole family.