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The Clinical Interview of the Child, Third Edition

Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D.
With Nancy Thorndike Greenspan

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-137-8
  • Item #62137

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Ideal for both novices and advanced practitioners, the new edition of Stanley Greenspan's classic guide outlines a practical process for observing and interviewing children—and organizing and interpreting their unfolding communications.

Highly acclaimed, The Clinical Interview of the Child uses actual interviews with children to show readers how to

  • Apply a developmental, biopsychosocial framework for understanding the inner lives of children at different ages and stages
  • Observe and assess human development, including emotional and cognitive patterns and perceptual capacities
  • Help infants and children to reveal their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors during the clinical interview
  • Organize and interpret the interview data by constructing a developmental profile and translating it into DSM-IV-TR diagnostic categories

The third edition has been expanded and revised extensively, with updated theoretical and conceptual foundations; information on higher levels of ego development and reflective and thinking capacities of older children; and a new section on a developmental biopsychosocial model—the developmental, individual-difference, relationship-based (DIR) approach.

An invaluable educational and practical resource, The Clinical Interview of the Child, Third Edition, is an ideal tool for psychiatrists and psychologists, pediatricians, educators, social workers, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and judges and attorneys dealing with children and families.


  • About the Authors
  • Chapter 1. Conceptual Foundations: An Overview
  • Chapter 2. Framework for Systematic Observation of the Child
  • Chapter 3. Chronological Age- and Phase-Appropriate Illustrations for Each Observational Category
  • Chapter 4. Clinical Illustrations of Interviews With Children
  • Chapter 5. Conducting the Interview
  • Chapter 6. Constructing a Formulation Based on a Developmental Approach
  • Chapter 7. Interviewing the Parents: Selected Comments
  • Appendix: A Developmental Biopsychosocial Model for Assessment and Treatment
  • References
  • Index

About the Authors

Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D., is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Behavioral Sciences, and Pediatrics at the George Washington University Medical School, Chairman of the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders, and a supervising Child Psychoanalyst at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute. He was previously Chief of the Mental Health Study Center and Director of the Clinical Infant Development Program at the National Institute of Mental Health. A founder and former president of ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families, Dr. Greenspan has been honored with a number of national awards, including the American Psychiatric Association's Ittleson Prize for outstanding contributions to Child Psychiatry Research and the American Orthopsychiatric Association's Ittleson Prize for outstanding contributions to American mental health—the only individual to receive both Ittleson awards—and the Strecker Award for outstanding contributions to American psychiatry. He is the author or editor of more than 35 books and monographs and 100 articles and chapters.

Nancy Thorndike Greenspan , a former health economist, writes about children's development and is currently working on a biography of Max Born, the Nobel Peace Prize winning physicist and one of the pioneers in the development of quantum mechanics. She also works on environmental issues.

This book is an outstanding introduction to the theory of mental development. It contributes greatly to the literature by providing a model for assessment and treatment based upon a developmental biopsychosocial framework.—Elliott Pae, M.D.,, Doody's Health Science Book Review, 2/1/2004

This beautifully lucid volume provides the best guide I know for assessing and understanding the developing child in all the dimensions of mental life and behavior. In the grand tradition of Anna Freud, Erikson, Mahler and Piaget, Greenspan's developmental structural approach provides a nuanced and in-depth practical method for assessing the child at every stage of development, emphasizing the unevenness of developmental levels. Greenspan's view is compatible with all the major contemporary theoretical points of view—cognitive, psychodynamic, behavioral, and relational—subsuming them in his objective descriptions. While the book is specifically aimed at the child clinician, those of us who treat adult patients will be hugely informed by this map of child development. The clinical vignettes are compelling. This is a superb how-to-do-it book, as well as one of the best introductions to the theory of mental development that I know. The biopsychosocial model of psychiatry, so often talked about but so little implemented, is here carried out splendidly.—Arnold Cooper, M.D., Past President, American Psychoanalytic Association, Stephen P. Tobin and Dr. Arnold M. Cooper Professor Emeritus in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Med College

Throughout the text, there are many examples of how [Dr. Greenspan] handles given situations, what words he speaks, and how he specifically approaches a given situation. It is at those moments that one best listens in on an expert at work. For the child and adolescent psychiatrist just starting out, these vignettes are true pearls to apply.—Sonya Marie Vieira, M.D. and A. Reese Albright, M.D., Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2/1/2004

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