When Children Refuse to Talk in Therapy: How to Understand and Respond to Children Who are Silent
Victoria Schreiber, M.A., L.M.S.W.
Child and Adolescent Psychoanalyst
Hanna Perkins Center for Research and Child Development
Member of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Society
Five Thursdays / May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 2012
7.5 CME and CE Credit Hours
Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute
32841 Middlebelt Road
Practice Gap/Need and Course Description: Child therapists are often presented with children who have difficulty participating actively in their sessions. When the difficulty involves the use of language and the child is silent, the child therapist is faced with many challenges. How to communicate with and understand what is being communicated becomes the essence of the therapeutic intervention. Work with children who do not use words in treatment either all of the time or even intermittently can stir a variety of unconscious reactions within the therapist. In this 5-session seminar, Mrs. Schreiber will share clinical vignettes to better understand the conscious and unconscious use of silence. We will then integrate ideas presented in various articles, which explore selective mutism, developmental interferences, silence when confused with secret keeping and technique. We will consider the role of trauma, PTSD, and the interferences experienced with children in treatment. We will ultimately begin to increase our ability to feel with and for the children we patiently hope to help.
By the end of the seminar, participants will be able to DEMONSTRATE:
• Participants will increase their familiarity with literature on silence in working with children.
• Participants will be able to identify how silence is used to ward off unconscious conflict.
• Participants will gain a better understanding of possible pitfalls in working with children who are silent in their hours.
*May be used toward completion of the Child Development and Clinical Issues Program.