Discussion Questions

  1. Medication is frequently given to children “off label.” What are the concerns related to this? Given how few medications are actually approved for use in children, how should parents and physicians resolve this problem?

  2. What are common factors in psychotherapy? Why do you think that these factors are so important?

  3. Which therapeutic orientation do you find most appealing? Why? Which therapy or technique is best supported by the research? Why do you think that some practitioners continue to use techniques that are not supported by research?

  4. In therapy with children, parents are the ones who consent to the treatment. As the child’s legal guardians, they have control over the treatment and therefore have a right to know what is happening in treatment. However, if the therapist discloses to the parents what the child says (particularly older children and adolescents), this may seriously damage the therapeutic relationship. How would you resolve this tension? What would you do if a child disclosed potentially very risky behavior that did not rise to the level of overt threats of suicide?

  5. Parents or legal guardians provide consent for children and adolescents to participate in therapy. Therapists should obtain assent from the children themselves for therapy. However, research studies have shown that many children are unhappy being in therapy. This is not surprising, of course, given many of the issues for which children are referred. How would you resolve the situation if parents consent to treatment, but the child is reluctant to assent?