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Counselling Children

Counselling Children
A Practical Introduction

Fifth Edition
Additional resources:

December 2017 | 384 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

The definitive guide to the skills and techniques used when working with children experiencing emotional problems, this book covers all you need to know about, including: 

  • The goals for counseling children and the child-counselor relationship
  • Practice frameworks for working effectively with children
  • Play therapy and the use of different media and activities
  • Building self-esteem and social skills through the use of worksheets

The new Fifth Edition has been updated to include:

  • A new chapter on technology (its influence on children and ways that technology can be used during counseling)
  • New content on issues of diversity and difference in counseling children
  • The different contexts in which counseling children occur
  • Discussion of concepts of well-being and resilience
  • Updated references and research

The book is supported by a new Companion Website that provides training materials and handouts on a range of skills for counseling children including: helping the child to tell their story and tray work, the use of miniature animals, the use of clay, and helping the child to change thoughts and behavior.

This highly practical guide is vital reading for counselors, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, nurses, and teachers working or training to work with children.

Introduction to the fifth edition
Part 1 Counselling Children
1. Goals for counselling children
2. The child-counsellor relationship
3. Ethical considerations when counselling children
4. Attributes of a counsellor for children
Part 2 Practice Frameworks
5. Historical background and contemporary ideas about counselling children
6. The process of child therapy
7. The child’s internal processes of therapeutic change
8. Sequentially Planned Integrative Counselling for Children (the SPICC model)
9. Counselling children in the context of family therapy
10. Counselling children in groups
Part 3 Child Counselling Skills
11. Observation
12. Active listening
13. Helping the child to tell their story and get in touch with strong emotions
14. Dealing with resistance and transference
15. Dealing with self-concept and self-destructive beliefs
16. Actively facilitating change
17. Termination of counselling
18. Skills for counselling children in groups
Part 4 Play Therapy – Use of Media and Activities
19. The play therapy room
20. The evidence-base for play therapy and counselling children
21. Selecting the appropriate media or activity
22. The use of miniature animals
23. Sand-tray work
24. Working with clay
25. Drawing, painting, collage and construction
26. The imaginary journey
27. Books and stories
28. Puppets and soft toys
29. Imaginative pretend play
30. Games
31. Technology
Part 5 The Use of Worksheets
32. Building self-esteem
33. Social skills training
34. Education in protective behaviours
Part 6 In Conclusion

This book is first class. It is well written and engaging and contains a wealth of exercises and activities to use with children. I love this book.

Sally Riggall
Lincoln University

Counselling Children has been an excellent resource to enhance the practice of psychotherapy with children since its first edition published in 1997. I first met the Geldards at their informative workshops in Brisbane in those early years, which thoroughly enhanced my work with children. Their published books were an added bonus. This fifth edition further supports the therapist with an addition of a Companion Website. It is a highly recommended resource, and one that I value, for every therapist working with children.

Dianne O'Malley
Counselling Psychologist, Young Minds Network

This book is a classic text for students and practitioners interested in learning more about working with children. It is easy to read and the examples given bring to life the real challenges faced in practice. At the end of each Chapter is a helpful key points box which is ideal for summarising the contents of each chapter. An essential text in the field of counselling and psychotherapy.

Divine Charura
Senior Lecturer, Leeds Beckett University

The book follows a natural progression from the beginning of developing the initial relationship, through looking at different models of counselling, the skills necessary for working with children, to the use of different media – the use of play in all its various forms, visualisations, and the use of worksheets.

The real value for money comes for me with the huge number of online resources, including videos and worksheets available via the use of a code given in the book.

Lynn Martin
Integrative psychotherapy trainer

Main textbook for module presented in the Social work module

Dr Hanelie Malan
North-West University, North-West University (Potcheftstroom)
December 13, 2019

An excellent book in understanding counselling from a child's perspective, enables the reader to develop greater understanding of the purpose of counselling adapting current skills into more targeted and specific ones.

Mrs Toni Benaton
Britannia Mill Campus, Derby University
June 5, 2019

This book is incredible. Easy to use and understand.

Miss Cindee Bruyns
Social Work, University of Cape Town
February 18, 2019

The title says it all, really - it is indeed 'a practical introduction'. Well written, well founded in theory. Adding the online resources is a welcome bonus.

Cathy Lasher, Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute, Nottingham

Ms cathy lasher
Counselling and Psychotherapy, Metanoia Institute
December 18, 2017

An extremely accessible guide for students of counselling who wish to specialise in their practice

Mrs Suzi Smale
Psychology, Petroc College
November 30, 2017

Sample Materials & Chapters

1. Goals for counselling children