A process of therapy has emerged through analysis of the author's work with children and adolescents over a span of 32 years. This process fits organically with the philosophy, theory, and practice of Gestalt therapy, beginning with the prerequisite of the relationship between client and therapist. The role of contact and its connection to resistance is examined as particularly applied to the specific characteristics of children. The author has found that the continuous strengthening of the child's inner support structure in the course of therapy is fundamental to the child's ability to work through deep-seated, blocked emotions. Therefore, enhancing the child's sense of self is a crucial step toward healthy emotional expression and optimum growth and development. The focus on self-enhancement through specific experiences inherent in child development is an intrinsic part of psychotherapy with children and adolescents. Even the task of helping the child feel safe and comfortable with expressing feelings requires its own sequence. The author discusses a method for helping the child become self-nurturing, an important component of the therapeutic process and one often neglected in Gestalt therapy, yet particularly critical to the child who has suffered trauma. Finally, the therapeutic process concludes with termination, never actually a final step since children can only deal with specific issues in accordance with their particular developmental stage.

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