‘YouCanTake it With You’: Transitions and Transitional Objects in Psychotherapy with Children Who have Learning Disabilities

Tamsin Cottis
  • British Journal of Psychotherapy, January 2017, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1111/bjp.12268

Psychotherapy with children who have learning disabilities

What is it about?

The paper considers what impact a learning disability may have on development of self and of transition in a child’s life. It relates Winnicott’s theory of Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena (1953) to the theory and practice of Integrative Arts Child Psychotherapy (IACP). The paper sets out how, through the therapeutic use of objects and, ‘object games’, the childrens’ experiences of trauma as well as the impact of their disabilities were addressed. This process led to significant and positive changes in their relationships with self and with others.

Why is it important?

With its vivid case material, the paper is an important contribution to the theory and practice of psychotherapy with children who have significant learning disabilities.


Ms Tamsin Cottis

As a child psychotherapist with thirty years+ experience in the learning disability field I feel strongly that all children, including those with learning disabilities should have access to high quality therapy treatment, which is underpinned by a strong theoretical base, but which can be adapted in response to individual need and cognitive capacity.

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