chapter  3
11 Pages

Normal emotional development


Child and adolescent psychotherapists are constantly aware of the developmental processes at work ± or obscured and obstructed ± in the children and young people whom they see. In simple terms, the normal capacity of the child to adapt to and embrace growth and change, both physically and emotionally, is an ally of the therapist. Given that our caseloads today, however, tend towards children who have experienced severe and often very early trauma, where the survival of any sense of self seems an amazing achievement, it has become even more vital that we retain as part of our repertoire a clear sense of the normal developmental tasks and processes which lead to `good enough' emotional health and functioning.