Clinical Child Psychology

  • Harry Purser
Part of the Psychology for Professional Groups book series


The development of psychological services for children began in 1909 when William Healy, a psychiatrist, set up the Juvenile Psychopathic Institute in Chicago. This agency dealt primarily with the problem of delinquency and was staffed by a team of psychiatrists, social workers and psychologists. By the 1920s the multi-disciplinary team approach to the problems of childhood was further developed through the establishment of ‘child guidance clinics’ in America. These clinics expanded the range of interest to include delinquency, mental retardation, neurological problems and personality disorders. At this time developmental problems were seen as having either a physiological, medical basis, or as the consequence of emotional disturbance. The emergence of Freud’s psychoanalytic model of child development offered clinicians an alternative to the medical approach which gave rise to the specialism of child psychotherapy.


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Annotated reading

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Copyright information

© The British Psychological Society 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harry Purser

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