Identifying and Working with the Replacement Child Syndrome in a Therapeutic Relationship

I am pleased to share with the Replacement Child Forum the successful completion of my research project, which my assessor praised as follows:

“Lizette, this is a strong submission and has been a privilege to read.  You have courageously tackled a subject which is linked to some deep emotions for you personally, and you have presented some insightful information in a way which is clear and useful for other practitioners.”

Therapeutic Relationship

For my Diploma in Counselling, I was assigned by Heartwood Counselling and Psychotherapy at Dartington College in Devon, UK, to complete a research project as a written assignment and present the findings in a short presentation to my peers at the end of the academic year.  I had to choose a counselling related topic that was either of interest personally, or that I had encountered during my practice so far.  On both counts, Replacement Child Syndrome ticked the criteria and I developed a questionnaire tailored to Adult Replacement Children who had attended therapy, to firstly establish, whether therapeutic practitioners identified the Replacement Child Syndrome and if so, how they worked with it.  And secondly, to identify any emerging themes among participants. 

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the founding members of the Replacement Child Forum, Kristina Schellinski, Judy Mandel and Rita Batatt Silverman, for setting up the subsequent webinar and their assistance with my research, and to all the members who either attended the webinar in April 2022 or who contributed towards the questionnaire to make my project possible. 

After passing my client case study with credit, I received my Level 4 Advanced Diploma from the National Counseling Society (NCS Accred) and I am excited to now share my findings with the Replacement Child Forum.  I look forward to sharing this research with other therapeutic practitioners in the hope that my work will contribute insight as well as help in the diagnosing of the Replacement Child Syndrome.

You can read the research paper and additional materials here.