An integrated approach to child psychotherapy with co-parental support: a longitudinal outcome study

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Marina Miscioscia
Alessandra Simonelli
Lorenza Svanellini
Marta Sisti
Laura Sudati
Maria Elena Brianda
Pier Antonio Battistella
Michela Gatta *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Michela Gatta | Michela.gatta@unipd.it

Abstract

Studies about the effectiveness of psychodynamic psychotherapy interventions with children and adolescents suggest potential adverse effects of this treatment when not supported by a parallel work with parents: it seems that it could damage family functioning and affect family balances. This research aims to assess psychopathological outcomes after two years of psychodynamic psychotherapy by comparing two groups (G) of children and adolescents, related to a Childhood Adolescence Family Service: G1 – individual therapy for child/adolescent only; G2 - therapy for child/adolescent and a separate session of co-parenting support. 21 families with children aged between 6 and 17 years completed the entire treatment. The research protocol involves: Lausanne Trilogue Play, Children Behavior Check List and Family Empowerment Scale. Results show a positive effect of the treatment on the child/adolescent psychopathological profile with a significant improvement concerning the reduction of both internalizing and externalizing problems. Results show the effectiveness of the integrated intervention in the improvement of parents’ abilities to validate the children emotional state. Our results suggesting that parenting support increase parental sensitivity, helping the parents to become more able to recognize the children’s emotional state and to validate it.


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