Book launch: Childhood, Well-being and a Therapeutic Ethos

We’re delighted to support and publicise a new book edited by our friend Dr Richard House and his colleague Prof Del Loewenthal.


A new book calls for a greater focus on the experience of childhood, and a step away from scientific and technical imperatives, in a bid to capture a higher quality childhood and thereby to lessen the current young generation’s’ need for adult therapy in the future.

Childhood, Well-being and a Therapeutic Ethos follows widespread debate surrounding the issue of ‘toxic childhood’, questioning current policy and practice and its impact on the welfare of children.

Edited by Dr Richard House and Professor Del Loewenthal from the University’s Centre for Therapeutic Education, the collection of essays explores the need for an approach to forming policy that is informed by therapeutic values, if we as a society are to enhance children’s well-being. International tables place the well-being of children in the UK and the USA very near, if not at, the bottom, which has in turn precipitated mounting cultural and political concern.

“We must pay particular attention to childhood experience, showing that scientific and technical developments are always secondary to the resources of the human soul, if we are to minimize the extent to which today’s children will need therapy as adults,” said Professor Loewenthal.

Dr House added: “This will entail moving beyond narrowly mechanistic definitions of, and ways of thinking about, ‘well-being’ and the psychological therapies. This book offers pointers to the kinds of arguments that can inform what is rapidly becoming a central concern of politicians and policy-makers.”

In his foreword for the book, Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams said:
“No-one can now ignore the fact that a serious debate about the welfare of children has
at last begun in our society. And, appropriately, it has started to open up a wider debate
about the nature of learning and even the nature of human maturity. The essays in this
collection are significant not only for what they say about childhood but for what they
invite us to think about human growth and wellbeing in general.”

Childhood, Well-being and a Therapeutic Ethos will be core cross-disciplinary reading in a range of academic and training contexts.

This essential text is being launched at a conference hosted by the Research Centre for Therapeutic Education in association with the Universities Psychotherapy and Counselling Association on ‘Cutting Edge or Cliche: The Relational in Psychotherapy and Counselling’ this weekend.

For further information please call
Press and PR Manager Christine Cain


The Editors and Contributors

Foreword – by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams
CHAPTER 1  Richard House and Del Loewenthal
Editorial Introduction: ‘Therapeutic ethos’ in therapeutic, educational and cultural Perspective


CHAPTER 2  Del Loewenthal
Childhood, well-being and a therapeutic ethos: a case for Therapeutic Education

CHAPTER 3  Sue Palmer
Toxic childhood—the background

CHAPTER 4  Christopher Clouder
The challenge of modern childhood

CHAPTER 5  Bob Reitemeier
 The Children’s Society’s ‘Inquiry into Good Childhood


CHAPTER  6  Ricky Emanuel
Childhood ‘toxicity’ and ‘trauma’: asking the right questions
CHAPTER  7  Sami Timimi
The changing space of childhood and its relationship to narcissism

CHAPTER  8  Sue Gerhardt
 Why love matters in early childhood


CHAPTER  9   Kathryn Ecclestone
Resisting images of the diminished self in education in education policy and practice for emotional well-being

CHAPTER 10  Richard House
The ‘mind object’ and ‘dream consciousness’: A Winnicottian and a Steinerean rationale for avoiding the premature ‘adultifying’ of children

CHAPTER 11  Andrew Samuels
Confronting some myths and realities about children’s well being


CHAPTER 12  Biddy Youell
Why play(fulness)?—some childhood themes

CHAPTER 13  Elizabeth Wood
Everyday play activities as therapeutic and pedagogical encounters

CHAPTER 14  Eugene Schwartz
From playing to thinking: how the Kindergarten provides a foundation for scientific understanding

CHAPTER 15  Oliver James
Play—Excerpts from They F*** You Up and Affluenza

CHAPTER 16  Del Loewenthal and Richard House
Editorial Conclusion: Therapeia today  (re-instating the soul at the centre of human experience)

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