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Child Guidance Clinics

  1. J. Brooke Wright,
  2. Kelly S. Flanagan

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0167

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Wright, J. B. and Flanagan, K. S. 2010. Child Guidance Clinics. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1.

Author Information

  1. Wheaton College

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


The National Committee for Mental Hygiene marshaled the child guidance clinic movement, which spanned the decades of the 1920s to 1940s. Child guidance clinics (CGCs) were established for the psychiatric study, treatment, and prevention of juvenile delinquency and conduct and personality disorders in 3- to 17-year-old non-mentally retarded children. The CGC approach to children's mental health represented a shift from traditional treatment models, which were largely individual psychoanalytically oriented play therapy conducted by a psychiatrist or psychologist, toward more innovative modes of intervention. Further, the era of CGCs represented the first time that the mental health of children was considered an independently important focus for treatment.


  • child guidance clinic;
  • school-based health care;
  • community mental health