The role of assessment for the child therapist includes trying to understand the psychodynamics of a child, and applying this understanding in consultation with parents and other professionals. One of the more specific questions asked is whether this child should be offered analytic therapy. Klein felt that every child could benefit from psychoanalysis, the so-called prophylactic analysis, but the modern realities of time and money mean that some discrimination is necessary to determine who would benefit most. Decades of analytic child work have resulted in a greater sophistication of thought. We would now question the idea that every child could benefit from analytic therapy, and question whether ‘standard’ analytic therapy could actually harm a child. I am referring to an interpretative approach in which direct interpretation can shatter the child’s or adolescent’s fragile sense of self (Spiegel 1989).