Intellectual Disability and Psychotherapy: The Theories, Practice and Influence of Valerie Sinason charts the transformative impact of the noted psychotherapist’s work with children and adults with intellectual disabilities upon both a generation of clinicians and the treatment and services delivered by them.
Examining how contemporary Disability Therapists have discovered, used and adapted such pioneering concepts as the Handicapped Smile and Secondary Handicap as a Defence Against Trauma in their clinical work, the book includes contributions from renowned practitioners and clinicians from around the world. It shines a light on how Sinason’s work opened doors for working with people who were previously thought of as unreachable.
Intellectual Disability and Psychotherapy will be an essential resource to anyone working with children or adults with disabilities, as well as psychotherapists interested in exploring Valerie Sinason’s work.
Disability therapy is a remarkable and constantly developing specialty and Valerie Sinason is its major pioneer. The book celebrates her bravery, wisdom and honesty. Alan Corbett and Tamsin Cottis have assembled in her honour a gifted group of contributors who are open to the often very challenging nature of disabled people’s lives but have found clinically urgent and wonderfully creative ways of helping them to flourish. The therapists and carers have found highly imaginative ways of opening lines of communication with their clients, but also, equally importantly, within their networks and worlds. This is an exciting book.
Dr Anne Alvarez, PhD, M.A.C.P. Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, retired Co-Convener of the Autism Service, Child and Family Dep't. Tavistock Clinic, London
Valerie Sinason, with her powerful words, her challenging ideas and her empathic insights into the sometimes painful emotional lives of people with labels of disability has taught me to listen with more than my ears, and, at times, helped me to bear the unbearable. This book is testament to her place as a respected, cherished and highly influential figure in the lives and professional careers of many and diverse people, myself included.
Dr Roger Banks FRCPsych FRCGP(hon) FIPD, National Senior Psychiatric Lead, NHS England, President of the European Association of Mental Health in Intellectual Disability
Notes on contributors
Foreword by SUSIE ORBACH
Including the excluded: Valerie Sinason, psychoanalytic pioneer
Creativity and the analytic condition: creative arts approaches within a psychoanalytic frame
We are who we see looking back at us: Valerie as a supporter of a developing organisation
ALAN CORBETT and TAMSIN COTTIS
The handicapped smile: language and identity
Death, loss, and the struggle for non-disabled grief
Forensic groupwork and Books Beyond Words: Valerie Sinason as colleague, co-author, and friend
The best of both worlds: the making of a disability psychiatrist
Building insight and changing lives: the contribution of Valerie Sinason to the history of disability psychotherapy
Sharing our history, informing our future: Valerie Sinason and the development of training for frontline care workers and therapists
Secondary handicap and a model for the supervision of nurses
Labels, death-making and an alternative to Social Role Valorisation: Valerie Sinason’s influence on my work
Valerie Sinason, South Africa, and the politics of seeing
Like an owl in a tree: learning from Valerie Sinason in treating patients’ intellectual disabilities in Sweden
Valerie Sinason and the psychodynamics of bravery
An interview with Valerie Sinason reflecting on her life and the evolution of disability psychotherapy