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February 01 , 2011

Cognitive Development and Child Psychotherapy


Like hiking off the well-traveled trail, attempting to bridge foreign do­ mains of research and practice entails certain risks. This volume repre­ sents an effort to explore the relatively uncharted territory of cognitive and social-cognitive processes embedded in child psychotherapy. The territory is largely uncharted, not because of a lack of interest in children and cognition, but because child psychotherapy has been chronically neglected by clinical researchers. For example, recent meta-analyses of the effectiveness of child psychotherapy draw on less than 30 non­ behavioral studies of child psychotherapy conducted over a 30-year period. The average of one study per year pales in comparison to the volume of research on adult psychotherapy. Moreover, research exam­ ining cognitive, affective, and language processes in child psycho­ therapy is virtually nonexistent. Consequently, the contributions to this volume should not be seen as reviews of an extant, clinical-research literature. Instead, they represent attempts to expand the more familiar and well-researched province of developmental psychology into the rel­ atively uncharted domain of child psychotherapy process. In addition to bridging the literature on child psychotherapy with research perspectives on children's cognitive and social-cognitive devel­ opment, this volume attempts to cross a second gap. Recent surveys of the utilization of psychotherapy research by practicing psychotherapists indicate the distance between these two domains is substantial. Only a small minority of practitioners find psychotherapy research to be a useful source of information for their practice.
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