Originally published in 1983, this study describes the experience of severely deprived children referred for individual psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the Tavistock Clinic in London, and at other clinics and schools. Most were living in children’s homes, all came from chaotic and disrupted families, and many had been abused or neglected. Children from such backgrounds have previously been considered unsuitable for psychotherapy, and the theoretical and technical issues arising from their treatment are discussed here, and detailed case material is presented.
There is a high rate of emotional and behavioural disturbance among children in community care. The experience of the therapists struggling, often painfully, to establish contact and communication with these young people, who have been hurt and disillusioned by life, provide illuminating material on the children’s perceptions of their lives. This book clearly demonstrates the need for and the capacity to respond to treatment, and it provides insights which are of relevance to all who are in close contact with such children.
Acknowledgments. Contributors and Therapists. Introduction. 1. Mary Boston The Tavistock Workshop: An Overall View 2. Falling and Being Dropped 3. Sticking: More Girls in Care 4. Abandoned 5. Rolene Szur Sexuality and Aggression as Related Themes 6. Mary Boston Technical Problems in Therapy 7. Eva Holmes Psychological Assessment 8. ‘I’m Bad, No Good, Can’t Think’ 9. Gianna Henry Difficulties about Thinking and Learning 10. Rolene Szur The Transition from an Institution to a Family 11. Growing up in Foster Care: One Boy’s Struggles 12. Ronald Britton Breakdown and Reconstitution of the Family Circle 13. Joan Hutten Thinking Together about Children in Care 14. Brian Truckle Fieldwork: First Visit to a Foster Family 15. Shirley Hoxter Some Feelings Aroused in Working with Severely Deprived Children. Sheila Miller Glossary. Bibliography. Index.
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