Childhood, Well-Being and a Therapeutic Ethos

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edited by Richard House and Del Loewenthal (Karnac Books, ISBN 978-1855756335)

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Reviewed by Dr Maria Robinson, early years consultant and author

This is a timely and extremely interesting book comprising a series of essays by well-known writers and researchers, including the two authors. A foreword by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, sets the tone of the book.

The book is divided into four parts. The first has three essays, including one by Sue Palmer expanding on her theme of a 'toxic childhood', and Bob Reitemeier discusses the recent Children's Society inquiry. Christopher Clouder looks at the challenge of modern childhood and 'our common human sense of responsibility'.

The second section includes Sue Gerhardt's reminder of the importance of infant experiences. Section Three takes a more therapeutic stance, with an extremely interesting and challenging essay by Kathyrn Eccleston. Section 4 is devoted to the importance of play, with some case study examples of the roots of playfulness.

There is a huge amount of both information and reflection within each of the chapters by the various authors, all of whom are prominent in their respective fields, and so this book will prove a very useful resource to a wide range of both practising professionals and students. It is not an especially easy read, but is rewarding and thought-provoking.

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