Early treatment work with school phobia was largely psychoanalytically based (Johnson, Falstein, Szurek and Svendsen, 1941; Klein, 1945; Warren, 1948; Thompson, 1948; Van Houten, 1948; Bornstein, 1949; Sperling, 1951; Suttenfield, 1954; Coolidge, Hahn and Peck, 1957). The publication of Wolpe’s (1954, 1958) work stimulated interest in behavioural techniques but for many years the majority of large-scale treatment investigations utilised therapeutic approaches derived from psychoanalytic theory (Talbot, 1957; Rodriguez et al., 1959; Glaser, 1959; Hersov, 1960–61a,b; Davidson, 1960–61; Chazan, 1962; Warnecke, 1964; Weiss and Cain, 1964; Barker, 1968; Berg, 1970; Skynner, 1974). Nevertheless, beneath the psychoanalytic umbrella, strategies and styles of intervention have varied enormously. In particular there have been major differences of opinion with respect to: who to treat; where to treat; whether to insist on an immediate return to school before, during or after treatment and finally the extent to which factors outside the family should be considered in aetiology and treatment.