Psychotherapeutic Strategies in the Latency Years


Publisher: Jason Aronson, Inc.

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Dr. Sarnoff is the most prominent authority on latency. In this volume, he extends his work beyond the characteristics of ego function during the ages 6-12, to include the entire age period of latency in a study of the role of cognitive development and the unconscious in latency-age adjustment and psychopathology. In addition, well-springs of adolescent and adult adjustment and pathology in the latency years are described.

To achieve these goals in the present volume, chapters are developed that present detailed studies of pathological entities both from the descriptive and developmental standpoints. Special attention is paid to the problems of assessment that are important in understanding latency-age children. The work culminates in a series of chapters that deal with the theory of psychotherapy in relation to fantasy, cognitive maturation and the formulation of interpretations, the nature of the symbolizing function as the child grows toward adolescence, and the changing nature of fantasies and sensitivities as the child matures within latency. The chapters on psychotherapeutic strategies deal in detail with clinical case material, illustrating how to treat the silent child, how to convert the noncommunicative play child in to one who plays out and works out his problems through play, how to furnish the playroom, how to handle parents, and how to deal with the child who destroys the playroom.

This is an impressive clinical work—one that places therapeutic work with latency-age children at the forefront of clinical thought and therapy, where it belongs.


“This work is without question the new standard for describing the process and structure of latency as well as the treatment of latency-age disorders. The excellence of this book make commentary difficult. Sarnoff has used the past decade since the publication of Latency to further refine his critical analysis and synthesis of the latency period. This has resulted in more extensive examples of treatment situations, accompanying psychodynamic formulations, and suggested solutions. Sarnoff’s crisp writing style makes for an exciting and comprehensive text for both beginning and experienced child psychotherapists, Simply stated, no better work can be had for understanding this crucial developmental period.”

George Kowallis, M.D.
Director of Child Psychiatry Training
St. Vincent’s Hospital, New York

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