Psychoanalytic Theory for Social Work Practice: Thinking Under Fire, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Psychoanalytic Theory for Social Work Practice

Thinking Under Fire, 1st Edition

Edited by Marion Bower


210 pages

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Written by practicing social workers and social work educators, this text analyzes modern psychoanalytic and psychosocial approaches to social work and relates them to current practices and values. Focusing on working with children and families, the text covers salient issues in social work practice including risk assessment, dealing with parents with drug and alcohol problems, supervision and management of emotional stress.

Throughout the book there is an emphasis on the realities of frontline practice, and looking at what can realistically be achieved. It also addresses the research evidence for this approach. With psychoanalytic and psychosocial approaches becoming increasingly popular, this text will be a welcome addition for professionals, students and social work educators.


'It is an extremely well written and thought-provoking book presenting psychoanalytic perspectives as a basis for social work with children and families in stressful circumstances … A welcome and instructive book. It can be warmly recommended as excellent value for refreshing theoretical ideas or for CPD purposes! And it really should be required reading for all those with an analytic background who are also teaching in, or working with, individuals or families in health, education or social work settings.' - Gill Frayn

'This highly original and very welcome book is the first text written for over 20 years that seeks to introduce the theory and practice of psychoanalytic thinking to social workers… I hope that it will be widely used by social work educators and that it finds its way onto the reading list of trainee counsellors and psychotherapists.' - Ruth Jordan, Journal of Social Work Practice

Table of Contents

Part 1: A framework for practice 1. Psychoanalytic theories for social work practice Marion Bower 2. Psychoanalytic research in the era of evidence-based practice Steve Briggs 3. Racist states of mind: an attack on thinking and curiosity Narenda Keval Part 2: Understanding and working with children and young people 4. Observation in social work practice Biddy Youell 5. ‘Thinking in and out of the frame’; applying systemic ideas to social work with children Gwyn Daniel 6. Individual brief psychotherapy with sexually abused girls and parallel support work with parents and their carers Julie Long, Judith Trowell and Gillian Miles 7. Double deprivation Gianna Williams 8. Psychoanalytic perspectives on emotional problems facing parents of children with learning disabilities David Simpson Part 3: Parents, families and professional networks. 9. The court, the couple and the consultant: is there room for a third position? Judith Freedman 10. Dangerous cocktails: drugs and alcohol within the family Martin Weegman 11. Working with borderline personality disorder Joseph Mishan 12. Working with families who see help as the problem Marion Bower 13. Re-enactment as an unwitting professional response to family dynamics Ron Britton Part 4: Professional stresses and supports. 14. Who care for the carers: work with refugees Maureen Fox 15. The containing function of supervision in working with abuse Dick Agass

About the Editor

Marion Bower is a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Social Work in the Child and Family Department at the Tavistock Clinic. She has worked in child, adolescent and adult mental health services for over twenty years. She is on the editorial boards of The Journal of Social Work Practice and The British Journal of Psychotherapy. She is co-editor of ‘The Emotional Needs of Young Children and Their Families-Using Psychoanalytic Ideas in Community Settings’

Routledge. She is also an adult psychotherapist in private practice.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / General
MEDICAL / Health Care Delivery
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Children's Studies