ABSTRACT

The small-scale study in which I used grounded theory to analyse my primary data (the individual assessment sessions of four children) is a detailed analysis of what can be learned from child psychotherapy assessment, undertaken as part of a wide-ranging multi-professional assessment process. Assessment is always the place where direct work with children begins. It may be undertaken for a range of reasons, some of which are very specific, but a child psychotherapy assessment is always embedded in the broader and deeper context of understanding the child himself (or herself), making sense of who he is and how he comes to be who he is at this time and in this place and in the light of his life experiences. The study assessments were part of my ordinary clinical work and also part of the broader, overarching assessment process concerned with planning the future for these children in alternative family placements. The assessments followed standard child psychotherapy practice, although the presence of the child psychotherapist as researcher was directly raised with two of the children, aged 8 and 10 years.