Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Child of our time: how childhood now lasts a lifetime

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 13 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2341
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

In general practice we study the so called consultation, and its various models. This causes much hilarity in other specialties: they say, “you can’t teach consultation skills.” This is true to an extent: if you are a plank of wood and you choose to smile, you are still a plank of wood. But the value is the opportunity to make us reflective.

Transactional analysis is one such model of the consultation: it suggests that during interactions with people we adopt three potential roles—that of the parent, …

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