The Handbook of Child Life: A Guide for Pediatric Psychosocial Care

The Handbook of Child Life: A Guide for Pediatric Psychosocial Care

by Richard H. Thompson
     
 

It has been said that the moral test of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. Those who enter the field of child life daily encounter those in our society who are among the most vulnerable . . . vulnerable because of their age and their ways of interpreting the world, vulnerable because of their physical circumstances, vulnerable because of the

Overview

It has been said that the moral test of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. Those who enter the field of child life daily encounter those in our society who are among the most vulnerable . . . vulnerable because of their age and their ways of interpreting the world, vulnerable because of their physical circumstances, vulnerable because of the unfamiliar they encounter, vulnerable at times because of additional barriers such as language, poverty or prejudice. Yet, the child life specialist understands that each individual, despite the vulnerabilities he or she may bring to an encounter, also brings strength and resiliency. The task of the child life specialist is to build upon those strengths and to minimize individual vulnerability and maximize the growth of the individual. This book addresses the most important aspects of the practice of child life. The book is geared toward an audience beyond the introductory level and includes information on the state of the art in each chapter covered. Wherever possible, the book demonstrates application of the contents in practice through case studies. The goal of this text is to assist in this process, drawing upon the expertise of leading figures in the field to help provide child life specialists, and other allied health professionals, with the knowledge and skills they will need to accomplish this important task.

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, PsyD (Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book describes the activities of a child life specialist, whose goal is to help children reach their potential by building upon their strengths and overcoming vulnerabilities while they are in the hospital.
Purpose: The purpose "is to assist in this process, drawing upon the expertise of leading figures in the field to help provide child life specialists, and other allied health professionals, with the knowledge and skills they will need to accomplish this important task."
Audience: Child life specialists and other allied health professionals are the intended audience. Dr. Thompson is dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at The College of New Rochelle and is past president of the Child Life Council. The 30 contributors are from the United States and Canada.
Features: The history of child life begins the book, starting in 1962 with Emma Plank's publication outlining the goals of a child life program. Chapter one defines child life as "the designated name of the professional service and its practitioners whose goals have been to help children engage and subdue fears, misconceptions, anger, and profound sadness that hospital experiences provoke, to protect and enhance their developmental integrity, and, whenever possible, use the experiences of illness and hospitalization to build strengths rather than compromise them." The book continues with theories that underlie child life including cognitive, Piagetian, social learning, and attachment. The authors stress the importance of the therapeutic relationship, communication, and family-centered care. They also address how to work with critical care situations and grieving children. There are good tables and clinical vignettes that illuminate the process. Chapter 12 on working with grieving children and families is interesting in the way it addresses the tasks of grieving and provides examples of traditional religious rituals. Chapter 16, which provides a global perspective, shows how these child life concepts and practices can be applied in various parts of the world.
Assessment: This book does a good job of describing the activities of a child life specialist and preparing one for work in this field. Because of the range of topics it addresses, the book can be useful for new or veteran child life specialists. This work is important for people working with children who are at a difficult point in their lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780398078317
Publisher:
Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Limited
Publication date:
04/01/2009
Pages:
378

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