Arta de a fi TU

Counselling Children and Adolescent

counselling1.1  Explain the importance of looking at child development holistically.

Holistic development is looking at the child as a whole and an individual child. Rather than breaking up development into ‘sections’ and grouping children together as all the same.
The development of children is often studied as separate topics. However, each area of development influences the others and is interconnected. for example:

  1. 1.      Physical development goes into cognitive and social.
  2. 2.      emotional development goes into cognitive and social.
  3. 3.      social development goes into cognitive and physical.
  4. 4.      cognitive development goes into physical and social and emotional
    Holistic development is defined tin the birth to three matters as ‘seeing a child in the round as a whole person, emotionally, socially, intellectually, physically, healthily, culturally and spiritually. The department for education and skills has produced a framework called birth to three matters (read it is VERY good and helpful). It is to support childcare providers and other professionals working with children from birth to 3 years. This framework emphasizes that development should be viewed holistically and emphases the interrelationship between growing and learning development and the environment in which children are cared for and educated. The four broad areas of development featured in the framework are a strong child, a skillfully communicator, a competent learner and a healthy child.Even babies are complex human being and their development should be viewed, not in stages, but holistcally as a whole. We are talking about physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social development. We need to understand as a whole, not only to focus on whether they can walk and talk at a certain stage of their development.

Child’s holistic development is what should be at the forefront of our minds at all times.

Many questions and concerns are raised about what constitutes holistic child development

Holistic Development – [ Integrate : SQ + EQ + IQ + PQ = True Knowledge]

Physical Intelligence: Wise nutrition, Consistence balance exercises Proper rest, relaxation, stress management and preventing.

Mental intelligent: Continuous, systematic, disciplined study and education Cultivation of self awareness, learning by teaching and doing.

Emotional intelligent: Self awareness, Personal motivation, Self regulation, Empathy, Social skill.

Spiritual Intelligence: Integrity (Character building ), Meaning ( Purpose of life ),Voice( Self Enlightenment and motivate to other ) .

1. Spiritual development

Spiritual development typically is concerned with existential questions, such as: Who am I?

Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? What happens after death? The growth

process is one of “bringing the believer to maturity in Christ” (e-mail conversation with

Professor Perry Downs,TrinityEvangelicalDivinitySchool).

2. Physical development

Physical development includes changes in body size and proportion, brain development, perceptual and motor capacities, and physical health (L. Berk, Infants, Children, and Adolescents, 3rd Edition, 1999). Health and growth are commonly included in this developmental domain, but it is just as critical to include muscular and neural coordination, which are necessary for performing day-to-day tasks and job-related skills.


3. Socio-emotional development

Socio-emotional processes involve changes in an individual’s relationships with other people, changes in emotions, and changes in personality (J.W. Santrock, Child Development, 1996). In the study of human beings, it is difficult to separate the emotional domain from the social one. In fact, many theories address both aspects of development as one area of study. By placing them together, we are recognizing that children grow through relationships with others in order to fulfil emotional needs and that socialization is accomplished through the communication of messages, both verbal and nonverbal, that are loaded with emotion.

Also, by using the word “emotion” to describe this area of development, we provide a clearer understanding of the type of programming children need to develop in holistic way. A thorough description of the category of socio-emotional development may be less likely to suggest activities, such as celebrations or field trips, which are considered to be “social events.” Historically, the term “social” has been understood by its common meaning, that is, “marked by or passed in pleasant companionship with one’s friends or associates”(Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary). Although social activities (as understood by common usage) can be designed to promote social and emotional growth, in most cases they are not implemented with these goals in mind. The matrix on the following pages should give the reader a better idea of the components of socio-emotional development. One important concept in socio-emotional development that deserves special attention is “emotional intelligence”, which has been found to be a predictor of success in life across the categories of relationships, school, and job performance.

4. Cognitive development

Obviously, we are extremely concerned for children who live in economic poverty, who lack the basic resources for survival and healthy development. However, poverty is multi-dimensional, not just economic. For many people, the words “economic development” conjure up images of monetary handouts, business ventures, or other microenterprise types of interventions. These all fulfil valid needs, but a question remains: How does one train a child to intelligently utilize these types of interventions to escape economic poverty? The child needs to be able to think, to communicate effectively, to have opportunities for learning problem-solving skills, training in job-related skills, and the acquisition and application of basic knowledge. In other words, the child needs the skills necessary to be an effective worker, businessperson or entrepreneur. Our purpose becomes teaching young people how to learn, giving them the confidence to try new things, imparting the skills to make good choices and encouraging them to use their giftedness to

meet their economic needs.

Cognitive development, an important piece of holistic child development, includes changes in an individual’s thinking, intelligence, and language. Intelligence is defined in a very broad sense and includes “verbal ability, problem-solving skills, and the ability to learn from and adapt to the experiences of everyday life” (J.W. Santrock, Child Development, 1996, p.289).

Importance of integration and synergy

Programs that combine interventions to address children’s needs holistically are more effective than programs that address an isolated area of development. One of the key principles of child development is that there is a synergistic relationship between developmental areas: health status, nutritional status, growth, spiritual development and psyho-social well-being of children all work together to enhance the effectiveness of each category (Myers, 1995). In other words, 1 + 1 = 3 or “whole is greater than the sum of itsparts.”


1.2  Explain the key developments that might be expected to have occured in a child of forty months.


Understanding and skills. The child understands much more than he (she)did before. Because the child can now retain information in his mind for longer he is better able to follow instructions and complete simple tasks.

Learning new concepts. The child may be able to name and match several colours accurately and sort objects for instance, different animal shapes, may show an interset in clcoks, but he is unlikely to be reliable at telling the time properly for another year or more.

Emotional development.

Children can show a range of emotions. The child may cry if you read a sad story. He can be helped to develope his compassionate side by talking about situations that you see.

Child’s own need for privacy is increasing and this is important to his sense of self. There may be secretes he shares with a friend or with a fabourite teddy.

The child have begun to understand the complexities of emotion. They still find it dificult to control their emotions. Their imagination will be prolific and they may still afraid of the unknown They should now be taking a positive aproach to events and activities and be confident linking up with others for guidance and suport.


Early writting.

By now, the child will have learned two vital things: how to hold a pencil or caryon, and the fact that written symbols can convey a message.


Speach and language development.


The child speak clearly. The child talks a lot, sometimes very fast. At times the child may becom insistent or argumentative and sound rude, though he is probably just animated. Some of his consonants will still be a bit unclear.

Prea –reading skills

Learning to read is a continuous and gradual process that strats early on, when the child first makes connections betwwen the words he hears you read and tha marks and symbols on a printed page. Once the child begins to read for himself, he improves gradually over many years.


Emotions and personality

The child will now separate from  mom, dad with little or no fuss, the majority part the time and be eager to get into a playground each day to see his friends and start the school day.

When the child is secure in your love, he will feel confident that others will care about him too. This is important part of his emotional development.


The skills needed to be a good friend are jus developing. These are: beeing good at listening, aware of the feelings of others and able to share, and these skills will make the child more popular.

Imaginary playmates coincide with a child’s developing imagination and occur at a time when fantasy and reality may be blured.

Learning to share.  The chil is still learning about sharing. He will realize that not everything belongs to him, he won’t be entirely happy about it.

Sense of humour. The child’s sense of humour is linked to his rapidly developing language skills. The child is also more aware of mannersand therefore of what is taboo, so mentions of burping, bottoms or poo will make him giggle.

Being bossy. Many children are noisy and assertive as they are still working out how to get what they want and many try the tactic of siple ordering others around or being demanding to get their way.


Starting school. It is important to handle your emotions about your child starting school.

Whether or not the child has attended a playground or childcare facility prior to his first day at school, you can expect some reluctance or concern as he comes into contact with unfamiliar enviroments and people.


Children will be very aware of their own social backgrounds. They will understand the differences between gender and culture and will keen to feel accepted. They enjoy being with other children and making friends. They understand the need for sharing and taking turns and are beginning to recognise right from wrong. Children of this age should be able to demonstrate flexiblity and be able to adapt their behaviour to different social situations and routines.


Your child year by year Forward by dr Tanya Buron Msc Psychs D

Raising Happy Children Jan Parker and Jan Stimpon


1.3 Explain the key changes that might be expected around puberty

Let’s to define what time the puberty starts.

Puberty is the combination of physical and emotional changes that occur when a girl or boy becomes a young woman or man. Puberty takes place at the point that the body starts to make new hormones. These hormones guide the physical changes but also produce emotional changes.

When does puberty begin?

The average age for puberty is 12. The earliest expected age is 8 years, and the latest expected age is 16 years.

It happens to everyone at different times: some people start changing when they’re only 10 years old, while other don’t see any changes until they’re 16. Changes can happen slowly and gradually, or over a relatively short space of time, but generally girls will start changing before boys.

Because your brain is releasing hormones to start these things, your emotions and feelings can also be affected during puberty. Your mood can go up and down, and you may start worrying about your body and the way you look.


Emotional changes for girls and boys
Along with the many physical changes, a lot of emotional changes happen around puberty for both boys and girls. They include:

Many children are teenagers are self conscious. They may veer from acting childlike to behaving like an adult and they may be confused about their emotions. They often feel misunderstood as they strugle to come to terms with their own identuty and strive to be liked and accepted. During the teenage years they tend to begin to separate from their parents more and more preferring to identify with friends as they become less dependent on family for affection and emotional support.


Social developments

During the ages of twelve and sixteen years children are able to think beyond themselves and are more able to take the feelings of others into account. They constantly seek aproval and peer pressure is simportant to them. They are now becoming more socially skilled and are better be able to resolve conflicts and work through situations amicably. As they are beginning to fiind themselves they will develop idesas and values of their own and may at times show challenging or unresponsive behaviour.


Energy changes – the physical growth and other changes can make a young person feel full of energy one minute and tired the next.


1.4 Explain the term „antenatal care” and its importance


Antenatal care is essential for health and well being of the mother and to monitor the development of the baby. The condition of the mother before the birth of her child has a big impact on the development of the child.

Mothers who receive good antenatal care are giving their unborn child the best start in life and reducing any potential risk they may encounter during their pregnancy.

Antenatal care –the care of a pregnant woman and her unborn baby throughout a pregnancy. Such care involves regular visits to a doctor or midwife, who performs abdominal examinations, blood and urine tests, and monitoring of blood pressure and fetal growth to detect disease or potential problems.


Antenatal care offers the mother – to-be essential advice on maintainig a healthy lifestyle and preparing herself for the birth of her baby wich will, helpfully, reduce the likelihood of them becoming anxious, worried or ill informed.


1.5 Explain the key aspects of both anoxia and hypoxia

Anoxia and hypoxia are the two of the common birth difficulties which come about when the baby is deprived of oxigen during the birthing process.

Anoxia means a total lack of oxygen to the baby at birth and hypoxia means that the child has been partially starverd of oxygen.

Oxygen deprivation is very serious and cause a wide range of problems, all of wich will affect the child’s development such as cerebral palsy and learning difficulties.


1.6  Summarise five postnatal factors wich may influence a child’s need for therapy


2.Breackdown of relationship/marriage



5.Learning dificulties

1.      Accidents

Accidents can effect a child’s development and depending on the severity of the accident, this may be either permanent or temporary. An accident resulting in the loss of a limb for example, may affect the way in which the child develops and the pace they develop at. For example, the loss of a leg would impair tha child’s abilitty to stand, walk, run etc. Whereas the loss of an arm will restrict the child’s progress in such activities as writting, dressing or feeding themselves. Accidents may affect a chid’s social skills as they may be restricted in how they get out and about and mix with others, wich in turn may lead to withdrawal, uncertainty and a lack of confidence. Although injuries sustained during an accident may have a huge impact on the child’s development and in some case this impact may be permanent, it is possible to reduce the impact through thougtful ans sensitive therapy wich would involve encouraging the child to come to terms with the accident and look at life positively.

2.      Breakdown of relationship/marriage

Divorce and separation are experienced by ever increasing numbers of children and families. Clearly, it’s a painful and distressing time for all involved, yet only a small minority of children experience serious and long term difficulties. The conclusions of recent studies are clear. Children may experience many difficulties following divorce or parental separations-inculding moving house, area or school and a fall in household income-but what children find most damaging of all is a breakdown in the relationship with either parent. Understandably  parents may feel distracted and less available to their children when they are struggling with their own emotional distress, yet an awareness of just how important they are to their children at this time may help parents „be there” for them as much as possible.

If they are used to having both parents around and this set-up and this set up comes to an abrupt end, it is likely that the child will be affected. Although some children cope admirably in the face of adversity others will withdraw, become tearful and mistrusting. Although it should not always be asumed that the breakdown of a relationship will have an adverse effect on a child’s development, it is worth bearing in mind that young children often lack the comprehesion to understand conflict between adults, and they should never be drawn into arguments. Once again, sensitive counselling from an informed counsellor, with an insight into the child’s situation, may prove effective by enabling the child to talk openly about their feelings to someone other than a parent.

Children may feel confused, gulity, anxious, scared, rejected, angry and not want are particulary  desperate- and not want to burden their parents further by talking about it.

Children are particularly vulnerable when they are caught in loyalty traps-pressed to take sides aganst the other parent-or when they are used as go betwees or vehicles for dispute.

An adults we must accept that children love both parents and that they need to be able to feel good about each parent in order to develop and mature naturally and feel positive about themselves.



Culture is a combination of thought, attitudes, beliefs and values. In addition, there are also myths, old wives tales and “dichos” that are part of every culture.

When these two factors collide in an at risk environment, the development of the child could be compromised.

„Child’s culture shock is not that much different from an adult’s. It is an initial reaction to an uncertain and different environment. But never forget that your travelling child is not just a miniature adult. A child is, after all, a child, and will have more needs which cannot be put on a hold as an adult’s can. What are some of the causes of a child’s culture shock.

Loss of the Familiar Traditional comfort items, whether it be a television or granny’s voice on the end of the phone are no longer there. Remember, too, that a child’s world can be a limited one. So while an adult will react to what is new outside the door, a child – and certainly one still at home – could potentially experience shock at what is inside the home. This can easily include the shock of a mother who is beside herself with unhappiness, as much as the shock of a new care- giver, new bedroom furniture, or new food on the plate. It may also come as a result of being left all day with a servant who may be the kindest soul in the world, but try explaining that to a child.

New School. A new school is also a guaranteed stress point in the early days of a child’s adaptation. Where is the ‘in’ place to eat lunch? Who are the ‘in’ kids? In fact, what is just ‘in’? Personal issues can often by eclipsed by tough academic ones. International schools change from country to country. This one may be tough, that one easy. They all may be tougher than what the student experienced back home. The school itself may be physically laid out differently and that may require adjustment. School buses may be ridden for the first time and the school-bus ‘culture’ can take time getting used to as well.

Loss of Friends. Never forget just how a lack of friends and the challenges of making new ones will make a child feel. Pre-schoolers and children in lower grades can make friends more easily than teenagers who have to rely on a sophisticated set of cues and rules of behaviour set by that week’s consensus. Teens will need more time. That awkward, left-out feeling they may experience while they are trying to connect will most certainly be exaggerated and even mixed up with their feelings of culture shock.

  • Recognise that if your child is from a different cultural or racial background these may become important as they become older.
  • Be prepared for your child to ask you questions about their culture, their colour and people that you know.
  • Try and understand if your child has times when they are confused about who they are and listen to them if they need to talk.
  • Find out as much as you can about their cultural background and try and understand how this may impact on how they feel about themselves in the future.
  • Make contact with groups, organisations or people from your child’s background and find out some of the simple steps you can take to help your child develop a positive view of their identity. For example, skin and hair care, knowledge of food and important customs, important annual, religious or social events.
  • Celebrate your child’s cultural (and racial identify if they are a different colour from yourself), and encourage them to get involved in activities that bring them into direct contact with their culture.
  • Think of ways that you can help your child be part of their culture without making it a big deal.
  • Develop a general awareness or racial and cultural diversity and how your child fits into this, some of the experiences they may have when they are older and what your response and support should be. For example, a black child in a white adoptive family will become very isolated if he or she experiences racial abuse, or is treated differently by other black people, and this is not acknowledged by white parents or non-black brothers and sisters.
  • Recognise that your child has more than one identity as an adopted child and both of these should be valued and celebrated.
  • Do not become defensive or feel threatened if your child becomes very attached to people from the same cultural or racial group as themselves.
  • Always recognise, celebrate and promote both of your identities.
  • Encourage your children to talk about their traditions and your family’s way of life to their friends and peers (such as classmates) so that they grow up proud and aware of their cultural differences and are confident when informing others about them.


A child’s culture can have a huge impact on the way they feel about themselves. Cultural background should always be respected. However, unfortunatelly this is not allways the case, and the child may end up being bullied or feeling isolate due to their culture. Ignorance and  scepticism will have a negative impact on the child’s self worth, and it is important for counsellors to take into account the child’s culture, language, religion, family setup etc. In a postive way. Children need to feel valued and respected in order to build on their confidence and self–esteem, and counsellors can ensure this by showing a genuine interest in the child and providing a positive role model.


Culture can include attitudes, values, laws, and cherished beliefs or ways of doing things. The foundation for many cultures rests upon accepted myths or beliefs. Culture can influence adults in their everyday lives in the decisions they make and attitudes they have towards other people. How adults view a subject can influence a child’s attitudes about the same subject.

Raise Happy children Glenda Weil and Doro Morden

Culture in Children: Sticking With What You Know!

Like most of us, children can tend toward the familiar. Demographic, behavioral and psychological similarities can influence a child’s choice of friends. In older children, common interests can play as great a role as any single factor. But cultural or racial differences and similarities may also have a part. Children as young as 3 can exhibit an awareness of racial distinction. Some studies of grade-school children seem to suggest that while same-race friendships can be more frequent than cross-race friendships and that gender seems to be more of a determining factor than race, friendships among children who share the same gender and race are the most common of all.

Of course, in small children, the inclination toward what is familiar or similar does not necessarily indicate intolerance or even a preference for one race or gender. It’s more likely an unconscious drift toward the comfort of the known. Still it does indicate an awareness that should be taken seriously and cultivated in a positive direction.

The Role of Parents in Cultural Development

Perhaps no one can have as big an influence in a child’s life as their parents. They can affect every move a young child makes, especially when that child is faces with new surroundings or circumstances. When a child encounters something they’ve never seen before – a person with a different skin color than their own, for instance – that child will turn to their parents for clues into how they should respond. How a parent responds under the same circumstances is very important to the forming impressions of a small child. Children take cues from their parents for how to interact with others, solve conflicts and utilize friends to deal with problems.

Next to parents, a child’s teachers may have the biggest influence. Parents and teachers need to be aware of what they are teaching children through their own actions and responses to every day life. Far more is being conveyed through the course of a day than math or reading.

The Benefits of Cultural Understanding

A child who feels free and safe in the presence of cultural or religious difference will be able to sustain the confidence they need to learn. Their awareness of difference is important to his development. It will stimulate and strengthen their ability to relate and explore. But their responses to difference can be influenced by the responses they observe in those they turn to for answers and support, namely parents and teachers. Difference should be presented as a positive thing in a child’s world so that it will become a healthy challenge to develop and socialize in tolerance and acceptance.


4 Enviroment

A child’s enviroment plays an important part in how they feel about themselves. Poverty can have a detrimental effect. Poverty has been shown to negatively influence child health and development along a number of dimensions While income directly influences the availability of food, health care, and housing, financial strain also hinders child development through distinct mechanisms.

Because of economic limitations, poor parents have more difficulty providing intellectually stimulating facilities such as toys, books, adequate day-care, or preschool education that are essential for children’s development(93, 94). Poor housing feel and lack of money can affect a child’s health and well–being and lead to bulling and a feeling worthlessness. A loving, secure enviroment where a child is made to feel loved an valued, will have a much more positive effect on their growth and development than one where the child is unloved unwanted and largely ignored.

Additionally, family poverty may be disadvantageous to children’s development via poor parenting behaviour; this relationship is captured to some extent in the HOME Scale. Research results suggest that owing to the chronic stress of poverty, parents are more likely to display punitive behaviours such as shouting, yelling, and slapping, and less likely to display love and warmth through cuddling and hugging (18, 19, 32, 45, 51, 56). This is especially true when

poor parents themselves feel they receive little social support (40). Since a supportive and stable home environment is important for children’s mental health and development (8), receipt of long-term harsh treatment results in an insecure emotional attachment of children to their parents and subsequent behavioral problems (19, 52, 57, 69), poor goal orientation, low levels of self confidence and social competence, and a greater tendency towards inconsistent conduct and behaviour (32). Homeless poor children experience such behaviour problems at an even greater rate than housed poor children. One study found that 30 percent of homeless children inLos Angelesexhibited behaviour problems and/or school failure compared with 18 percent of housed poor children (91).

Many explanations are given for why parents experiencing economic difficulties tend to have difficult relationships with their children. The most notable factors related to parenting behaviour are depression, stress, and marital/relationship satisfaction. People living in poverty are more likely to endure stress due to financial insecurity, or interruption of employment (57), or a perceived or actual lack of social support, either financially or emotionally. In addition, economic pressure may increase marital conflict, as well as conflict between parents and children over money (19). High levels of family conflict, anxiety, and concerns over the family financial situation decrease marital satisfaction and general life happiness. This negatively influences quality of parenting behaviour; therefore, an indirect negative impact is exerted on child development. For example, McLeod & Shanahan (56) found that: “The direct effects of current poverty on internalizing symptoms or externalizing symptoms are not significant, while

the indirect effects [through harsh and unresponsive parenting behaviours] are significant and positive” (p. 359).

These cumulative interactions may help account for why researchers have found that the duration of children’s poverty experience has a significant, deleterious influence on their development over and above current poverty. McLeod & Shanahan (56) summarize: “As the length of time spent in poverty increases, so too do children’s feelings of unhappiness, anxiety, and  dependence”(p. 360). These findings highlight the need to consider the temporal, cumulative, and interactional aspects of poverty with respect to other ecological subsystems (11). Beyond persistence of poverty, researchers should also consider more closely income changes among consistently poor families. We have already seen that poor families often experience radical fluctuations in their standard of living due to variable employment or living arrangements


  1. 5.      Learning difficulties

Learning disabilities are present in at least 10 percent of the population. By following the links on this page you will discover many interesting facts about learning disabilities as well as uncover some of the myths. You will also be provided with practical solutions to help children and adolescents with learning disabilities greatly improve their academic achievement as well as their self-esteem.

Interestingly, there is no clear and widely accepted definition of “learning disabilities.” Because of the multidisciplinary nature of the field, there is ongoing debate on the issue of definition, and there are currently at least 12 definitions that appear in the professional literature. These disparate definitions do agree on certain factors:

  1. The learning disabled have difficulties with academic achievement and progress. Discrepancies exist between a person’s potential for learning and what he actually learns.
  2. The learning disabled show an uneven pattern of development (language development, physical development, academic development and/or perceptual development).
  3. Learning problems are not due to environmental disadvantage.
  4. Learning problems are not due to mental retardation or emotional disturbance

What causes learning disabilities?

Little is currently known about the causes of learning disabilities. However, some general observations can be made:

  • Some children develop and mature at a slower rate than others in the same age group. As a result, they may not be able to do the expected school work. This kind of learning disability is called “maturational lag.”
  • Some children with normal vision and hearing may misinterpret everyday sights and sounds because of some unexplained disorder of the nervous system.
  • Injuries before birth or in early childhood probably account for some later learning problems.
  • Children born prematurely and children who had medical problems soon after birth sometimes have learning disabilities.
  • Learning disabilities tend to run in families, so some learning disabilities may be inherited.
    Learning disabilities are more common in boys than girls, possibly because boys tend to mature more slowly.
  • Some learning disabilities appear to be linked to the irregular spelling, pronunciation, and structure of the English language. The incidence of learning disabilities is lower in Spanish or Italian speaking countries.

What are the “early warning signs” of learning disabilities?

Children with learning disabilities exhibit a wide range of symptoms. These include problems with reading, mathematics, comprehension, writing, spoken language, or reasoning abilities. Hyperactivity, inattention and perceptual coordination may also be associated with learning disabilities but are not learning disabilities themselves. The primary characteristic of a learning disability is a significant difference between a child’s achievement in some areas and his or her overall intelligence. Learning disabilities typically affect five general areas:

  1. Spoken language: delays, disorders, and deviations in listening and speaking.
  2. Written language: difficulties with reading, writing and spelling.
  3. Arithmetic: difficulty in performing arithmetic operations or in understanding basic concepts.
  4. Reasoning: difficulty in organizing and integrating thoughts.
  5. Memory: difficulty in remembering information and instructions.

Among the symptoms commonly related to learning disabilities are:

  • poor performance on group tests
  • difficulty discriminating size, shape, color
  • difficulty with temporal (time) concepts
  • distorted concept of body image
  • reversals in writing and reading
  • general awkwardness
  • poor visual-motor coordination
  • hyperactivity
  • difficulty copying accurately from a model
  • slowness in completing work
  • poor organizational skills
  • easily confused by instructions
  • difficulty with abstract reasoning and/or problem solving
  • disorganized thinking
  • often obsesses on one topic or idea
  • poor short-term or long-term memory
  • impulsive behavior; lack of reflective thought prior to action
  • low tolerance for frustration
  • excessive movement during sleep
  • poor peer relationships
  • overly excitable during group play
  • poor social judgment
  • inappropriate, unselective, and often excessive display of affection
  • lags in developmental milestones (e.g. motor, language)
  • behavior often inappropriate for situation
  • failure to see consequences for his actions
  • overly gullible; easily led by peers
  • excessive variation in mood and responsiveness
  • poor adjustment to environmental changes
  • overly distractible; difficulty concentrating
  • difficulty making decisions
  • lack of hand preference or mixed dominance
  • difficulty with tasks requiring sequencing

When considering these symptoms, it is important to remain mindful of the following:

  1. No one will have all these symptoms.
  2. Among LD populations, some symptoms are more common than others.
  3. All people have at least two or three of these problems to some degree.
  4. The number of symptoms seen in a particular child does not give an indication as whether the disability is mild or severe. It is important to consider if the behaviors are chronic and appear in clusters.

How does a learning disability affect the parents of the child?

Research indicates that parental reaction to the diagnosis of learning disability is more pronounced than in any other area of exceptionality. Consider: if a child is severely retarded or physically handicapped, the parent becomes aware of the problem in the first few weeks of the child’s life. However, the pre-school development of the learning disabled child is often uneventful and the parent does not suspect that a problem exists. When informed of the problem by elementary school personnel, a parent’s first reaction is generally to deny the existence of a disability. This denial is, of course, unproductive. The father tends to remain in this stage for a prolonged period because he is not exposed to the child’s day-to-day frustrations and failures.

Research conducted by Eleanor Whitehead suggests that the parent of an LD child goes through a series of emotions before truly accepting the child and his problem. These “stages” are totally unpredictable. A parent may move from stage-to-stage in random. Some parents skip over stages while others remain in one stage for an extended period. These stages are as follows:

DENIAL: “There is really nothing wrong!” “That’s the way I was as a child–not to worry!” “He’ll grow out of it!”

BLAME: “You baby him!” “You expect too much of him.” “It’s not from my side of the family.”

FEAR: “Maybe they’re not telling me the real problem!” “Is it worse than they say?” “Will he ever marry? go to college? graduate?”

ENVY: “Why can’t he be like his sister or his cousins?”

MOURNING: “He could have been such a success, if not for the learning disability!”

BARGAINING: “Wait ’till next year!” “Maybe the problem will improve if we move! (or he goes to camp, etc.).”

ANGER: “The teachers don’t know anything.” “I hate this neighborhood, this school…this teacher.”

GUILT: “My mother was right; I should have used cloth diapers when he was a baby.” “I shouldn’t have worked during his first year.” “I am being punished for something and my child is suffering as a result.”

ISOLATION: “Nobody else knows or cares about my child.” “You and I against the world. No one else understands.”

FLIGHT: “Let’s try this new therapy–Donahue says it works!” “We are going to go from clinic to clinic until somebody tells me what I want to hear.!”

Again, the pattern of these reactions is totally unpredictable. This situation is worsened by the fact that frequently the mother and father may be involved in different and conflicting stages at the same time (e.g., blame vs. denial; anger vs. guilt). This can make communication very difficult.

The good news is that with proper help, most LD children can make excellent progress. There are many successful adults such as attorneys, business executives, physicians, teachers, etc. who had learning disabilities but overcame them and became successful. Now with special education and many special materials, LD children can be helped early.

About Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – ADHD – ADD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – ADHD sometimes known as Attention Deficit Disorder – ADD is a condition that becomes apparent in some children in the preschool and early school years. It is hard for these children to control their behavior and/or pay attention. It is estimated that between 3 and 5 percent of children have meet criteria for diagnosis, or approximately 2 million children in the United States. This means that in a classroom of 25 to 30 children, it is likely that at least one will have ADHD.

A child with ADHD faces a difficult but not insurmountable task ahead. In order to achieve his or her full potential, he or she should receive help, guidance, and understanding from parents, guidance counselors, and the public education system.

In the most current assessment guidelines published by the American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders IV (DSM4), the disorder is known as ADHD and has several types including: (1) predominantly inattentive; (2) predominantly impulsive or (3) combined. Individuals with this condition usually have many (but not all) of the following symptoms:


  • often fails to finish what he starts
  • doesn’t seem to listen
  • easily distracted
  • has difficulty concentration or paying attention
  • doesn’t stick with a play activity


  • often acts without thinking & later feels sorry
  • shifts excessively from one activity to another
  • has difficulty organizing work
  • needs a lot of supervision
  • speaks out loud in class
  • doesn’t wait to take turns in games or groups


  • runs about or climbs on things excessively
  • can’t sit still and is fidgety
  • has difficulty staying in his seat and bothers classmates
  • excessive activity during sleep
  • always on the “go” and acts as if “driven”

Emotional Instability:

  • angry outbursts
  • social loner
  • blames others for problems
  • fights with others quickly
  • very sensitive to criticism

About Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – ADHD – ADD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – ADHD sometimes known as Attention Deficit Disorder – ADD is a condition that becomes apparent in some children in the preschool and early school years. It is hard for these children to control their behavior and/or pay attention. It is estimated that between 3 and 5 percent of children have meet criteria for diagnosis, or approximately 2 million children in the United States. This means that in a classroom of 25 to 30 children, it is likely that at least one will have ADHD.

A child with ADHD faces a difficult but not insurmountable task ahead. In order to achieve his or her full potential, he or she should receive help, guidance, and understanding from parents, guidance counselors, and the public education system.

In the most current assessment guidelines published by the American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders IV (DSM4), the disorder is known as ADHD and has several types including: (1) predominantly inattentive; (2) predominantly impulsive or (3) combined. Individuals with this condition usually have many (but not all) of the following symptoms:


  • often fails to finish what he starts
  • doesn’t seem to listen
  • easily distracted
  • has difficulty concentration or paying attention
  • doesn’t stick with a play activity


  • often acts without thinking & later feels sorry
  • shifts excessively from one activity to another
  • has difficulty organizing work
  • needs a lot of supervision
  • speaks out loud in class
  • doesn’t wait to take turns in games or groups


  • runs about or climbs on things excessively
  • can’t sit still and is fidgety
  • has difficulty staying in his seat and bothers classmates
  • excessive activity during sleep
  • always on the “go” and acts as if “driven”

Emotional Instability:

  • angry outbursts
  • social loner
  • blames others for problems
  • fights with others quickly
  • very sensitive to criticism

Understanding Autism & Autistic Disorders

Isolated in worlds of their own, people with autism appear indifferent and remote and are unable to form emotional bonds with others. Although people with this baffling brain disorder can display a wide range of symptoms and disability, many are incapable of understanding other people’s thoughts, feelings, and needs. Often, language and intelligence fail to develop fully, making communication and social relationships difficult. Many people with autism engage in repetitive activities, like rocking or banging their heads, or rigidly following familiar patterns in their everyday routines. Some are painfully sensitive to sound, touch, sight, or smell.

Children with autism do not follow the typical patterns of child development. In some children, hints of future problems may be apparent from birth. In most cases, the problems become more noticeable as the child slips farther behind other children the same age. Other children start off well enough. But between 18 and 36 months old, they suddenly reject people, act strangely, and lose language and social skills they had already acquired.

session pulling tufts of wool from the psychologist’s sweater.

What is Autism?

Autism is a brain disorder that typically affects a person’s ability to communicate, form relationships with others, and respond appropriately to the environment. Some people with autism are relatively high-functioning, with speech and intelligence intact. Others are mentally retarded, mute, or have serious language delays. For some, autism makes them seem closed off and shut down; others seem locked into repetitive behaviors and rigid patterns of thinking.

Although people with autism do not have exactly the same symptoms and deficits, they tend to share certain social, communication, motor, and sensory problems that affect their behavior in predictable ways.

Difference in the Behaviors of  Infants With and Without Autism

Infants with Autism

Normal Infants


  • Avoid eye contact
  • Seem deaf
  • Start developing language, then abruptly
    stop talking altogether
  • Study mother’s face
  • Easily stimulated by sounds
  • Keep adding to vocabulary and expanding grammatical usage
Social relationships

  • Act as if unaware of the coming
    and going of others
  • Physically attack and injure others without provocation
  • Inaccessible, as if in a shell
  • Cry when mother leaves the room and are anxious with strangers
  • Get upset when hungry or frustrated
  • Recognize familiar faces and smile
Exploration of environment

  • Remain fixated on a single item or activity
  • Practice strange actions like rocking or hand-flapping
  • Sniff or lick toys
  • Show no sensitivity to burns or bruises, and engage in self-mutilation, such as eye
  • Move from one engrossing object or activity to another
  • Use body purposefully to reach or acquire objects
  • Explore and play with toys
  • Seek pleasure and avoid pain


1.7  Explain why a child’s culture might affect way they feel about themselves


It is very important to take into account the child’s culture, language, religion, family setup etc.

A child’s culture can have a huge impact on the way they feel about themselves. Cultural background should always be respected.

What can be wrong for a child can be right for another child who was brought into different culture. The child has to be consciuos about himself, about his culture, religious, traditions, rules.

Ignorance and scepticism will have a negative impact on their child’s self worth. The child may end up being bullied or feeling isolated due to their culture.

So the child need to feel valued and respected in order to build on their confidence and self esteem.

It’s very important for a child don’t feel isolated, don’t have a feeling like „gulity” or „to feel different” because his (her) culture is different for other children.


1.8 Summarise five reason why a child may resort to unwanted behaviour.

There are many reason why a child may show unwanted behaviour.


Before we can really begin to understand what makes a child behave in the way that they do we must first take a look at the factors which play an important part in their lives and which may actually influence their behaviour. Often, without us even realising it, the things around us and

the aspects of our everyday lives, have a great influence on the way we conduct ourselves. Children are no exception. Whilst some appear resilient and take things in their stride, others are very sensitive and may have difficulty adjusting to changes.

One of the main factors which may affect a child’s behaviour is their overall development. For example, a child may behave in a certain way because they have emotional difficulties or because their development is delayed. The way a child feels about themselves will also have an affect on their behaviour; it is very important that children are made to feel secure, loved and valued by the adults around them as these three factors create the basis of self-esteem and confidence.

Other factors which may influence the way a child acts and behaves include:


  • divorce;
  • separation;
  • re-marriage;
  • bereavement;
  • birth of a new baby;
  • moving house;
  • starting/moving school;
  • unemployment;
  • race, culture and religion;
  • child abuse.


The way a child copes with any of the above situations will depend primarily on the way they have been brought up, their own genetic makeup and their stage of development.

We will now look at these factors in more detail.




Major changes, such as their parents’ separation or divorce, can have a profound affect on a child’s behaviour.


In today’s society there are many pressures and problems facing parents. The divorce rate is especially high in the United Kingdom and often children of a very young age have to contend with the break up of their family life as they know it. We can never really be sure how divorce

affects children but we can do our best to reassure them and prepare them for the changes ahead.


Exactly how much a child suffers may not really be known until much later in their lives when they begin to forge relationships and families of their own. Children may experience many feelings when their parents’ relationship breaks down including:


  • hurt;
  • anger;
  • resentment;
  • sadness;
  • guilt.


Over a quarter of the babies born in the UK today are likely to experience parental separation before they reach school leaving age, and divorce is one of the most common adverse life events experienced by children. When parents separate children may blame themselves for their parents’ unhappiness and question where they fit into the new setup. It is important to remember that divorce affects all members of a family and not just the actual marriage partners. How the parents themselves deal with their child’s emotions will have a very important influence on the outcome of the whole situation. What is absolutely vital is that the



  • Explain the situation honestly to their children in a manner suitable to their child’s age and understanding.
  • Make sure the child is aware that the break down of the relationship is not their fault.
  • Make sure that the child is aware that both parents still love the child deeply.
  • Never ask the child to choose between parents.
  • Avoid berating each other in front of the child.
  • Avoid apportioning blame in front of the child.
  • Never expect the child to take sides.


Children will react differently to divorce depending on their age and level of understanding of the situation. However their reactions can be summarised in the following ways:


Preschool children


As very young children are unlikely to understand the full implications of divorce they will probably become sad and frightened when their parents separate. It is not uncommon for young children to become very clingy and demanding and to refuse to be left alone even for a few minutes. Problems at bedtimes may occur and they may show aggression towards other children or their siblings.


Primary school-aged children


As with very young children this age group will also experience sadness and grief, however they are more likely to also experience anger particularly towards the parent with whom they are living. Blame may be apportioned to this parent whilst the absent parent may appear to be idealised.



Pre-adolescent children


Children of this age group are often unable to talk about their feelings as they experience pain and embarrassment acutely. They may appear detached and seek distraction in play and other activities. It is not uncommon for a pre-adolescent child to strongly side with one parent and even refuse to see the other.


Children of this age group are often experiencing many mixed emotions and may withdraw from family life in the event of a divorce or separation. One concern for children of this age group is that they do not seek distraction in ‘friends’ who may have an undesirable influence upon them.


Security for children is paramount and this security comes from consistent love and discipline and from parents who are ‘available’ for their children. Security can be just as effective even if it comes from separate homes and divorced parents. Parents who work together can make dramatic changes easier to accept and manage and it is essential that both parents work together to find a solution which is suitable for everyone.




So, the child has survived the separation and divorce of his or her parents and settled back into a happy routine, seeing both parents on a regular basis. How then, would you expect the child to react when one or both parents find new partners and plan to re-marry?

Although the exact number of people forming step-families is unknown, it is likely to be in the hundreds of thousands and research studies tell us that, after divorce, 50% of men will have remarried within two years and, after five years, 50% of women will have also remarried.

It is likely that the single most overwhelming feeling a child will experience in this type of situation is the uncertainty of his or her own position within the new family structure. When the parents separated but remained single it would probably have been easy for them to demonstrate the strength of their love and commitment to their child.

However, as soon as another person comes onto the scene the child may see them as a potential threat intent on breaking up their happy routine. If recent years have been full of pain and insecurity before the parents divorced, it will take time for all involved to recover, and once a child has recovered from the past and moved on they may be very reluctant to allow someone else to come along and upset things for fear of repeating the pattern. It would be easy to assume that when a parent finds a new partner everything will be fine and the child and new partner will forge a special relationship. There are times when this is the case. However there are also many cases when things are not so easy.

For example:


  • The child may feel strong resentment towards their parent’s new partner.
  • The child’s other parent may feel resentment towards the ex-partner and thrust their opinions onto the child; this may well be the case if the marriage break down was due solely to one parent’s indiscretion.
  • The parent’s new partner may find it difficult to take on the care of someone else’s child as they are unsure of their authority over another person’s child.
  • The parent’s new partner may wish to adopt the role of the absent parent against the child’s wishes; try to take mum/dad’s place.
  • There may be other children involved. A parent’s new partner bringing step-children into the equation can have a devastating affect on a child.



Young children have a limited understanding of bereavement and may believe the situation to be short term. The words ‘gone forever’ are hard for most of us to comprehend so to expect a young child to accept them may be asking too much. The child may grieve for a long time and, when you begin to think they have finally accepted the situation, they may revert back and start to ask for the deceased person again. The

death of a parent or close member of the family can have a devastating affect on a child and the situation needs to be handled with patience and sensitivity. Encourage the child to talk about the deceased person but do not force them to open up about their feelings until they are ready to do so. Answer their questions as openly and honestly as you can

taking into account their age and level of understanding.




Accepting the birth of a new baby can be very difficult for some  children. Feelings of jealousy and insecurity may well surface. Single children who have not had to share their parents may experience feelings of rejection and become unsure of their parents’ love for them. It can be particularly hard if the mother has a difficult birth and needs to stay in hospital or requires time to recuperate. An exhausted mother with a demanding baby may unintentionally appear to neglect the older child whilst she concentrates on her newborn.


Around 50-80% of new mothers suffer from the ‘baby blues’ when they understandably feel tired, stressed, anxious and weepy. This usually lasts for a few days after the birth and needs no special treatment.

However, between 10-15% of women may suffer worse depression which can last weeks or even months after the birth of their baby. In these cases it is vital that they receive the support they need and, if you sense that a parent of one of the children you are caring for is going through this kind of experience, try to offer them as much time, support and

reassurance as necessary and encourage them to seek medical advice.


It is vital that parents make time to be with their older offspring however tired or overwhelmed they may be feeling after the birth of a new baby. Encouraging older children to help with the care of the newborn will help them to accept the baby more quickly and give them a feeling of self-worth and helpfulness. Even young children can be included in the bathing and changing of a new baby, and by including your older children in these simple tasks you will help them to feel important and needed.



Another important factor which may influence a child’s behaviour is  starting school. Some children absolutely adore school; from the very first moment they hang their coat up and walk into the classroom they are settled and at ease. Others may take weeks or even months before they are truly happy and settled. Every child is unique and how long it takes for them to settle into their school environment will be different.

Neither of my own two children enjoyed playgroup. Nursery was only slightly better, and when they first began at primary school, if I didn’t leave them holding a teacher’s hand, they would end up following me all the way back home! However, I must stress that their inability to settle into school quickly has by no means hindered their education and both are now happy, confident and bright young men! The stress I suffered when they started school was, I don’t mind admitting, immense.

Although I knew they were in safe hands and would come to no harm, my heart was often in my mouth as I left them with tears streaming down their faces in the capable hands of the teacher.

School is a big change for children who have been used to spending their early years at home with mum or dad. Admittedly in today’s society, where a large number of parents return to work shortly after giving birth, the separation on a daily level starts when the child is still a baby and therefore both the parent and child have already become used to

spending time away from one another before the time to begin school approaches. However, a child who has never been away from their parents until starting school or one who has spent limited time in day care may feel a huge wrench when they begin in full-time education.

You can help to ease children into school life slowly by visiting the school with them regularly in the months prior to them beginning. If you already take and collect older children they will be visiting with you anyway and you can use this time to explain where the various classrooms are and introduce them to some of the teachers so that they won’t be quite so intimidated when the time comes for their own big day. Enlist the help of the older children you care for and ask them to look out for the new child who is starting. Encourage them to play together in the first few days whilst they are finding their feet and forging friendships of their own.


In addition to all these factors which can affect the way a child behaves we should also look carefully at our own opinions, views and expectations. You will undoubtedly have your own views on what is and is not an acceptable way for children to behave and these may well differ

from the views of your friends, colleagues and the parents of the children you care for. What you yourself may be very tolerant of could prove totally unacceptable in someone else’s family set-up and it is  important, when caring for other people’s children, that you accept the differences in the way people bring up their children.


The laws of this country set out what is acceptable to society in general and it is important that we teach children to grow up with the understanding that rules are there for the benefit of everyone and, whether we like it or not, we must abide by these rules to ensure that everyone has the right to a happy, safe existence.

Sometimes we may mistake aspects of a child’s behaviour for naughtiness when, in fact they are just normal traits associated with the child’s age. For example it is not ‘naughty’ for a young child to soil or wet themselves. A child’s control over his or her bladder and bowel movements varies immensely from child to child, but it is fair to say that a child under the age of 18 months will have limited control over their muscles and will invariably experience ‘accidents’ from time to time. This is not being naughty. Likewise a child who cries, shows feelings of resentment or jealousy or who may accidentally inflict pain through curiosity, such as pulling hair, may be simply showing normal behaviour for their age.

Allison Lee – The Childminders’ Companion

1.9 Analyse the main influences on a child’s behaviour

A child’s behavior is affected by many factors: biological, social, emotional and environmental. Some of these influences are problematic with practical solutions. Others are more complex and need to be addressed by physicians or emotional health professionals. The main influences on a child’s behavior are discussed below.

v     From their parents and carers as role models

v     Through effective behaviour management

v     From other people, friends, family, teachers etc

v     Televison, newspapers, films, radio, magazines etc


1.Biological Factors

v     Children’s behavior is definitely affected by traits inherited from their parents. Although subject to change by outside influences, a child’s personality, his likes and dislikes, and temperament are in place by the time he is a toddler.


  1. Social Factors

v     Once a child is exposed to peers on an everyday basis, as in school, her behavior is impacted by the influence of others. Because of a desire to be accepted in the group, a child may act in ways she would not at home. Children with strong wills may try to assert their dominance in a group with words or physical action, such as threats and intimidation.

3. Emotional Factors

v     Emotional issues have an influence on children’s behavior. If a child is diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), for example, his behavior may be erratic. Even the medication for ADD and ADHD can cause irritability and sadness. This may lead to a child withdrawing or acting out with inappropriate behavior.

4. Environmental Factors

v     The home environment can influence children’s behavior negatively or positively. In homes where there is frequent domestic turmoil, a child may behave a certain way in reaction to the lack of security she feels. An unsafe school environment can cause similar behavior. Teasing and other bullying actions are often manifested by children who do not have secure home and/or school surroundings.

5. Parental/Home Factors

v     Children’s behavior is strongly influenced by factors such as physical, sexual and mental abuse suffered at the hands of parents or other family members. Children of abuse have a strong chance of repeating the cycle of abuse when they are adults if they do not receive counseling or therapy. Children may not behave according to accepted norms if they act out of anger and depression resulting from what they have experienc


1.10 Explain, in psychoanalytic terms, the theory of „identification”.

Identification, in psyhoanalytic theory, refers to the unconsciuos process by which a person copies the attitudes, emotions and patterns of behaviour of another.

Projective identification is a psychological process by which a person projects his or her own thoughts and beliefs onto a third party. Often thought to be a defense mechanism, projective identification is generally associated with negative thoughts and actions that an individual considers unacceptable. The emotionally infectious aspect of projective identification has led to the successful study of shared group phenomena.

Psychoanalyst Melanie Klein first introduced the term projective identification in the mid-1940s. In her work Notes on Some Schizoid Mechanisms, Klein suggested that projected thoughts could somehow be positioned inside an animate object as a means of controlling it. Though still in its infancy, Klein’s theory would later be developed to explain a very intricate, interpersonal process.

Considered a primeval practice, projective identification is believed to be the basis on which many psychological processes are developed. Empathy and intuition are two valuable processes which are believed to be rooted in the mind’s ability to project values. As a defense mechanism, projective identification allows an individual to attach value and meaning to emotions and feelings which are difficult for him or her to concede. Additionally, the process allows an individual to exert some control over a situation and mold his or her self-image by casting off negative attributes and donning positive ones.

According to the theory of projective identification, individuals who possess a thought about themselves which they consider to be intolerable will project it onto another person. During the course of an interaction with a third party, the individual dominates and molds the situation in such a way as to make the other person acclimate to the projection. As a result, the other person is somehow changed to behave in the manner that the individual found distasteful. The individual who projected the negativity is then able to freely identify the other person as possessing the insufferable attributes he or she was so eager to discard.

Identifying when the process of projective identification begins, defining what is projected, and how and when the process ends are still a matter of some controversy. Dr. T.H. Ogden defined projective identification as an interpersonal process which simultaneously involves a defense against the intolerable, an interpersonal relationship, and communication. Once the negativity is identified and a relationship established with a third party, the communication most often occurs cyclically in a nonverbal fashion.

As a means of communication, it is suggested that the projection and identification cycles occur repeatedly in succession and allow an individual to express his or her uncomfortable thoughts or feelings in a nonverbal way. The recipient of these feelings may be unaware of the transference, but is able to empathize with the individual who is communicating the discomfort through action. What is novel about this aspect of the process is the suggested lack of awareness of the individual who made the projection. The person is likely unaware of the nonverbal cues he or she is emitting, thereby admitting to an experience about which he or she is completely oblivious.

In recent years, the projection theory and how it relates to groups of people has been extensively researched. Specifically, studies have been conducted to examine how the emotionally contagious nature of such projective identification influences shared phenomena like the bandwagon effect and groupthink. Within such phenomena, anonymity is thrust forward and the individual withdraws among the masses. The lack of diversity fosters a comfortable cohesion in which all parties are able to function with minimal confrontation, individual accountability, or self-reflection.

This is the process whereby one’s ego seeks to emulate another. It is particularly important in overcoming the Oedipus complex: the young child deals with his primitive desires by identifying with his parents, imitating them to such an extent that, ultimately, he introjects the parental authority – and thus develops a super ego. Identification is quite different from object choice : „If  a boy identifies himself with this father, he wants to be like his father; if he makes him the object of his choice, he wants to have him, to posses him” („New Intoductory Lectures” 22.63)

Introjections. The internalization of authority. According to Freud, when you introject the demands of your parents and, thus by extension, society, these demands become a part of your own repressed, socially unacceptable desires and needs. An ndless process of self-policing occurs as the super-ego reinforces parental proscriptions log after the parental authority has ceased to make its demands.

Super-ego. The super-ego is the faculty that seeks to police what it deems unancceptable desires;it represents all moral restrictions and is the „advocate of a striving towards perfection” (New Introductory lectures” 22.67). Originally, the super ego had the task of represing the Oedipus complex and, so, is closely caught up in the pshychodramas of the id; it is, in fact, a reaction-formations against the primitive object-choices of the id, specifically those connected with the Oedipus complex. The young hetersexual male deals with the Oedipus complex  by identifying with and internalizing the father and his prohibitions. „The super-ego retains the characterof the father, while the more intense the Oedipus complex was and the more rapidily it succumbed to repression (under the influence of discipline, religious teaching, schooling and reading), the more excating later on is the domination of the super-ego over the ego-in the form of conscience or perhaps of an unconscious sense of guilt” („ Ego and the Id” 706) Given its intimate connection with the Oedipus complex, the super-ego is associated with the dread of castration. As we grow into adulthood, various other individuals or organizations will take over the place of the father and his prohibitions (the church, the law, the police, the government.) Because of its connection to the id. The supergo has the ability to become excessively moral and thus lead to destructive effects. The super-ego is closely connected to the „ego ideal”.

Oedipus complex: for Freud, the childhood desire to sleep with the mother and to kill the father. Freud describes the source of this complex in his Introductory Lectures (Twenty-First Lecture): „ You all know the Greek legend of King Oedipus, who was destined by fate to kill his father and take his mother to wife, who did everything possible to escape the oracle’s decree and punished himself by blinding when he learned that he had none tje less unwittingly committed both these crimes” (16.330). According to Freud, Sopocles’s play, Oedipus Frex, illustrates a formative stage in each individual’s psychoesexual development, when the young child transfers his love object from the breast (the oral phase) to the mother. At this time, the child desires the mother and resents (even secretly desires the murder) of the father. (The Oedipus complex is closely connected to the castration complex.) Such primal desires are, of course, quickly repressed but, even among the mentally sane,they will arise again in dreams or in literarure. Among those individuals who do not progress properly into the genital phase, the Oedipus Complex, according to Freud, can still be playing out its psychdrama in various displaced, abnormal, and/or exaggerated ways.

Object: In psychoanalysis, „object”often refers to the object of one’s sexual desire: Freud, for example, refers to one’s „object-choice”, the earliest one being the mother (and before her mother’s breast). Freud also refers to „object-cathexes”, object that have been imbued with a sexual charge. „Object –choice” should be carefully distinguished from identification.


1.11 Explain the folowing terms

Identification.  As a child develops they may acquire attitudes and bahaviour patterns similar to those of their parents. For example, a parent who display a temper and flies into a range may have a child who often resorts to temper tantrums. Sometimes the mannerisms of a child are so strikingly similar to their parents. In the case of a child they will often duplicate the behaviour of a parent as they strive to identify with those they recognise and endeavour to absorbe some of strength and adequacy of their peers.

Role confusion is where the child tries out different roles but has difficulty combining them to forma a single identity.

Frustration occurs when the progress towards a desired goal becomes blocked or delayed. Goals may be blocked by a number of factors including social and physical environments or it may simply be that the desired goals are beyond the person’s ability. Frustration is inevitable result.

Apathy is the direct opposite of aggresion, and it is not known why some people resort to aggression whilst others react with aphaty. When a person responds to frustration with apathy they are seen as indifferent and depressed or showing signs of withdrawl.


 Denial This is either a conscious or uncoscious refusal to acknowledge a particular fact or event because of unpleasant or painful consequences.

Something which appears too difficult to face may be treated with denial. By pretending that something does not exist we can cope more easily with reality.


Systematic desensitisation

One of the main approaches of dealing with fears and phobias in children is systematic desensitisation approach.

The idea of systematic desensitisation is to weaken the situation wich the individual has difficulty coping with by strengthening an incompatible response.


1.12 Explain when a client is likely to resort to denial

In some areas of psychology (especially in psychodynamic theory), psychologists talk about “defense mechanisms,” or manners in which we behave or think in certain ways to better protect or “defend” ourselves. Defense mechanisms are one way of looking at how people distance themselves from a full awareness of unpleasant thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Psychologists have categorized defense mechanisms based upon how primitive they are. The more primitive a defense mechanism, the less effective it works for a person over the long-term. However, more primitive defense mechanisms are usually very effective short-term, and hence are favored by many people and children especially (when such primitive defense mechanisms are first learned). Adults who don’t learn better ways of coping with stress or traumatic events in their lives will often resort to such primitive defense mechanisms as well.

Most defense mechanisms are fairly unconscious – that means most of us don’t realize we’re using them in the moment. Some types of psychotherapy can help a person become aware of what defense mechanisms they are using, how effective they are, and how to use less primitive and more effective mechanisms in the future.

Primitive Defense Mechanisms

1. Denial

Denial is the refusal to accept reality or fact, acting as if a painful event, thought or feeling did not exist. It is considered one of the most primitive of the defense mechanisms because it is characteristic of early childhood development. Many people use denial in their everyday lives to avoid dealing with painful feelings or areas of their life they don’t wish to admit. For instance, a person who is a functioning alcoholic will often simply deny they have a drinking problem, pointing to how well they function in their job and relationships.

Someone who is unprepared to deal with an adverse situation or can see no solution to a problem may refuse to acknowledge the reality in the hope of putting off the action they need to take

In psychology, denial is a concept originating with the psychodynamic theories of Sigmund Freud. According to Freud, three mental dynamics, or motivating forces, influence human behavior: the id, ego, and superego. The id consists of basic survival instincts and what Freud believed to be the two dominant human drives: sex and aggression. If the id were the only influence on behavior, humans would exclusively seek to increase pleasure, decrease pain, and achieve immediate gratification of desires. The ego consists of logical and rational thinking. It enables humans to analyze the realistic risks and benefits of a situation, to tolerate some pain for future profit, and to consider alternatives to the impulse-driven behavior of the id. The superego consists of moralistic standards and forms the basis of the conscience. Although the superego is essential to a sense of right and wrong, it can also include extreme, unrealistic ideas about what one should and should not do.

These three forces all have different goals (id, pleasure; ego, reality; superego, morality) and continually strive for dominance, resulting in internal conflict. This conflict produces anxiety. The ego, which functions as a mediator between the two extremes of the id and the superego, attempts to reduce this anxiety by using defense mechanisms. Defense mechanisms are indirect ways of dealing or coping with anxiety, such as explaining problems away or blaming others for problems. Denial is one of many defense mechanisms. It entails ignoring or refusing to believe an unpleasant reality. Defense mechanisms protect one’s psychological wellbeing in traumatic situations, or in any situation that produces anxiety or conflict. However, they do not resolve the anxiety-producing situation and, if overused, can lead to psychological disorders. Although Freud’s model of the id, ego, and superego is not emphasized by most psychologists today, defense mechanisms are still regarded as potentially maladaptive behavioral patterns that may lead to psychological disorders.

Examples of denial

Death is a common occasion for denial. When someone learns of the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one, at first he or she may not be able to accept the reality of this loss. The initial denial protects that person from the emotional shock and intense grief that often accompanies news of death. Chronic or terminal illnesses also encourage denial. People with such illnesses may think, “It’s not so bad; I’ll get over it,” and refuse to make any lifestyle changes.

Denial can also apply to internal thoughts and feelings. For instance, some children are taught that anger is wrong in any situation. As adults, if these individuals experience feelings of anger, they are likely to deny their feelings to others. Cultural standards and expectations can encourage denial of subjective experience. Men who belong to cultures with extreme notions of masculinity may view fear as a sign of weakness and deny internal feelings of fear. The Chinese culture is thought to discourage the acknowledgment of mental illness, resulting in individuals denying their psychological symptoms and often developing physical symptoms instead.

Certain personality disorders tend to be characterized by denial more than others. For example, those with narcissistic personality disorder deny information that suggests they are not perfect. Antisocial behavior is characterized by denial of the harm done to others (such as with sexual offenders or substance abusers).

Denial can also be exhibited on a large scale— among groups, cultures, or even nations. Lucy Bregman gives an example of national denial of imminent mortality in the 1950s: school children participated in drills in which they hid under desks in preparation for atomic attacks. Another example of large-scale denial is the recent assertion by some that the World War II Holocaust never occurred.

Personality Disorders

Avoiding acceptance of responsibility – denial, counterattack and feigning victimhood

The serial bully is an adult on the outside but a child on the inside; he or she is like a child who has never grown up. One suspects that the bully is emotionally retarded and has a level of emotional development equivalent to a five-year-old, or less. The bully wants to enjoy the benefits of living in the adult world, but is unable and unwilling to accept the responsibilities that go with enjoying the benefits of the adult world. In short, the bully has never learnt to accept responsibility for their behaviour.

When called to account for the way they have chosen to behave, the bully instinctively exhibits this recognisable behavioural response:

a) Denial: the bully denies everything. Variations include Trivialization (“This is so trivial it’s not worth talking about…”) and the Fresh Start tactic (“I don’t know why you’re so intent on dwelling on the past” and “Look, what’s past is past, I’ll overlook your behaviour and we’ll start afresh”) – this is an abdication of responsibility by the bully and an attempt to divert and distract attention by using false conciliation. Imagine if this line of defence were available to all criminals (“Look I know I’ve just murdered 12 people but that’s all in the past, we can’t change the past, let’s put it behind us, concentrate on the future so we can all get on with our lives” – this would do wonders for prison overcrowding).

b) Retaliation: the bully counterattacks. The bully quickly and seamlessly follows the denial with an aggressive counter-attack of counter-criticism or counter-allegation, often based on distortion or fabrication. Lying, deception, duplicity, hypocrisy and blame are the hallmarks of this stage. The purpose is to avoid answering the question and thus avoid accepting responsibility for their behaviour. Often the target is tempted – or coerced – into giving another long explanation to prove the bully’s allegation false; by the time the explanation is complete, everybody has forgotten the original question.

Both a) and b) are delivered with aggression in the guise of assertiveness; in fact there is no assertiveness (which is about recognising and respecting the rights of oneself and others) at all. Note that explanation – of the original question – is conspicuous by its absence.

c) Feigning victimhood: in the unlikely event of denial and counter-attack being insufficient, the bully feigns victimhood or feigns persecution by manipulating people through their emotions, especially guilt. This commonly takes the form of bursting into tears, which most people cannot handle. Variations include indulgent self-pity, feigning indignation, pretending to be “devastated”, claiming they’re the one being bullied or harassed, claiming to be “deeply offended”, melodrama, martyrdom (“If it wasn’t for me…”) and a poor-me drama (“You don’t know how hard it is for me … blah blah blah …” and “I’m the one who always has to…”“You think you’re having a hard time …”“I’m the one being bullied…”). Other tactics include manipulating people’s perceptions to portray themselves as the injured party and the target as the villain of the piece. Or presenting as a false victim. Sometimes the bully will suddenly claim to be suffering “stress” and go off on long-term sick leave, although no-one can quite establish why. Alleged ill-health can also be a useful vehicle for gaining attention and sympathy

By using this response, the bully is able to avoid answering the question and thus avoid accepting responsibility for what they have said or done. It is a pattern of behaviour learnt by about the age of 3; most children learn or are taught to grow out of this, but some are not and by adulthood, this avoidance technique has been practised to perfection.

A further advantage of the denial/counter-attack/feigning victimhood strategy is that it acts as a provocation. The target, who may have taken months to reach this stage, sees their tormentor getting away with it and is provoked into an angry and emotional outburst after which the bully says simply “There, I told you s/he was like that”. Anger is one of the mechanisms by which bullies (and all abusers) control their targets. By tapping in to and obtaining an inappropriate release of pent-up anger the bully plays their master stroke and casts their victim as villain.

When called to account for the way they have chosen to behave, mature adults do not respond by bursting into tears. If you’re dealing with a serial bully who has just exhibited this avoidance tactic, sit passively and draw attention to the pattern of behaviour they’ve just exhibited, and then the purpose of the tactic. Then ask for an answer to the question.

Bullies also rely on the denial of others and the fact that when their target reports the abuse they will be disbelieved (“are your sure this is really going on?”, “I find it hard to believe – are you sure you’re not imagining it?“). Frequently targets are asked why they didn’t report the abuse before, and they will usually reply “because I didn’t think anyone would believe me.” Sadly they are often right in this assessment. Because of the Jekyll & Hyde nature, compulsive lying, and plausibility, no-one can – or wants – to believe it

Denial features in most cases of sexual assault, as in the case of Paul Hickson, the UK Olympic swimming coach who sexually assaulted and raped teenage girls in his care over a period of 20 years or more. When his victims were asked why they didn’t report the abuse, most replied “Because I didn’t think anyone would believe me”. Abusers confidently, indeed arrogantly, rely on this belief, often aggressively inculcating (instilling) the belief (“No-one will ever believe you”) just after the sexual assault when their victim is in a distressed state. Targets of bullying in the workplace often come up against the same attitudes by management when they report a bullying colleague. In a workplace environment, the bully usually recruits one or two colleagues (sometimes one is a sleeping partner – see Affairs below) who will back up the bully’s denial when called to account.


Serial bullies harbour a particular hatred of anyone who can articulate their behaviour profile, either verbally or in writing – as on this page – in a manner which helps other people see through their deception and their mask of deceit. The usual instinctive response is to launch a bitter personal attack on the person’s credentials, lack of qualifications, and right to talk about personality disorders, psychopathic personality etc, whilst preserving their right to talk about anything they choose – all the while adding nothing to the debate themselves.

Serial bullies hate to see themselves and their behaviour reflected as if they are looking into a mirror.



Bregman, Lucy. Beyond Silence and Denial: Death and Dying Reconsidered. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 1999.

Millon, Theodore and Roger Davis. Personality Disorders in Modern Life. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2000.


Cramer, Phebe, and Melissa A. Brilliant. “Defense Use and Defense Understanding in Children.” Journal of Personality 69, no. 2 (2001): 297–322.

Parker, Gordon, Gemma Gladstone, and Kuan Tsee Chee. “Depression in the Planet’s Largest Ethnic Group: The Chinese.” American Journal Of Psychiatry 158, no. 6 (2001): 857–864.

Schneider, Sandra L. and Robert C. Wright. “The FoSOD: A Measurement Tool for Reconceptualizing the Role of Denial in Child Molesters.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 16, no. 6 (2001): 545–564.


1.13 Explain three things children are likely to develop a fear of

Certain fears are normal during childhood. That’s because fear can be a natural reaction to feeling unsure and vulnerable — and much of what children experience is new and unfamiliar.

At around twelve months of age a child may develop a fear of strangers.

Young kids often have fears of the dark, being alone, strangers, and monsters or other scary imaginary creatures. School-aged kids might be afraid when it’s stormy or at a first sleepover. As they grow and learn, with the support of adults, most kids are able to slowly conquer these fears and outgrow them.

From around eight years feras of injury and death may become pronounced.

Some kids are more sensitive to fears and may have a tough time overcoming them. When fears last beyond the expected age, it might be a sign that someone is overly fearful, worried, or anxious. People whose fears are too intense or last too long might need help and support to overcome them.


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