1st Edition

Out of the Mainstream: Helping the children of parents with a mental illness

Edited By

Rosemary Loshak

ISBN 9780415682701
Published February 8, 2013 by Routledge
224 Pages

USD $46.95

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Book Description

Out of the Mainstream identifies those aspects of mental illness which can compromise parenting and affect children’s development, as well as the efforts of professionals to intervene effectively. With chapters from professionals working primarily with children or adults, in different agencies and in specialist teams or in the community, the book illustrates the ways in which the needs of mentally ill parents and their children can be understood.

The book outlines different theoretical approaches which may be in use alongside each other, including:

A systems theory approach to work with families and with agencies;

The psychoanalytic understanding of mental illness and its impact on family relationships and organisations;

An educational approach to supporting staff, children and parents;

A psychiatric or bio-medical model of work

Out of the Mainstream considers how the diverse groups of agencies, specialist teams and groups in the community can work together, even when many barriers may hinder the effective co- working between individuals and these various groups. It will be an invaluable resource for psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, health visitors, mental health nurses, teachers and voluntary sector agency staff. 

Table of Contents

Part I: Themes, Theories And Background. Loshak, Hidden Children. Bromley, Hadleigh, Roe, Living with a Parent with Mental Health Needs: What Children Say. Nolte, Becoming Visible: The Impact of Parental Mental Health Difficulties on Children. Loshak, Working with the Impossible. Loshak, Loss and Change in the Setting. Part II: The Children and Adult Mental Health Project (CHAMP). Loshak, Making a Difference: The Role of the Coordinator. Nathanson, Perinatal Crisis Service: Psychotherapeutic Work with Babies and Their Families at a Time of Crisis. Loshak, From Pilot to Present: The Role of the Children’s Specialist. Messent, Solarin, How Systemic Work Can Contribute Towards the Development of Collaborative Work Between Child and Adult Mental Health Services. Gallagher, Gosling, a Specialist Teacher In CHAMP: The Growth of an Idea. Part III: The Wider Network. Scott, Providing a Comprehensive Service: A Partnership with the Voluntary Sector. Palazidou, The Mentally Ill Parent – The Adult Psychiatrist’s Perspective and Role. Urwin, 'Managing Post-Partum Depression in the Community: Who Cares for the Babies?'. Loshak, Reflections.

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Rosemary Loshak is a social worker and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. She was formerly Coordinator for children in families with mental illness in Tower Hamlets, London.


"This is an important and unusual book, grounded in many years of careful, thoughtful service development by outstanding clinicians. But many voices come alive in its pages - children and young people, parents, professionals. It breaks new ground in representing the interconnection of these perspectives within a single, coherent volume without sacrificing attention to the clinical challenges of this kind of work. This is real world psychoanalytic practice and theory development at its best". - Andrew Cooper, Professor of Social Work at the Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust and University of East London.

"The great strength of the book is in the wealth of detail provided, which both locates it in its particular setting, but also gives the reader the tools with which to construct a similar service, albeit it in a different location and with a different mix of agencies on the ground. It is a book that comes vividly to life through the wealth of case examples and vignettes. It is also the book I wish I had written - a similar but also different story, about the development of a Parental Mental Health Service in North Kensington." - Gabrielle Crockatt, Journal of Child Psychotherapy (Vol. 39 No. 3)

"This book provides a timely and lively message about the levels of need amongst this group of two million families and the possibility for an appropriate response when services can link across boundaries. It is to be hoped that it will be read by clinicians working with both adults and children, and commissioners, so that the work so inspiringly and thoughtfully carried out and presented in this coherent and powerful can be carried forward through informed thinking about service provision." - Liv Darling, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (Vol. 27 No. 3)