1st Edition

The Work of Psychoanalysts in the Public Health Sector

Edited By Mary Brownescombe Heller, Sheena Pollet Copyright 2010
    232 Pages
    by Routledge

    232 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This book provides a comprehensive insight into the ways in which psychoanalysts think and work. Mary Brownescombe Heller and Sheena Pollet bring together internationally known contributors trained at the Institute of Psychoanalysis to explore the broad range of clinical work, thinking, and teaching undertaken with children, families, adults and staff by psychoanalysts in the UK public health sector.

    Divided into four sections, The Work of Psychoanalysts in the Public Health Sector covers:

    • clinical work with parents and young children
    • clinical work with adults and their families
    • analytic thinking in health service practice
    • analytic support for health service staff.

    Experienced psychoanalysts discuss work with various client groups including parents with babies, children, adolescents who self harm, and adults with serious mental health conditions and psychosis. The book also explores how psychoanalytically-informed work can be used alongside other treatment methods, and how health service staff can best be trained and supported.

    The Work of Psychoanalysts in the Public Health Sector offers the reader a broad perspective and a clear understanding of the various analytical concepts used in clinical practice. It will be invaluable reading for anyone interested in, or already using psychoanalytic ideas and techniques in the health sector, as well as students in training.

    Part I: Clinical Work with Parents and Children. Pollet, Making a Little Go a Long Way: Early Intervention. Trowell, Child Protection and 'Looked-After Children': What Can Psychoanalytic Ideas Contribute? Anderson, Assessing the Risk of Self-harm in Adolescents: A Psychoanalytic Perspective. Part II: Clinical Work with Adults and Their Families. Heller, A Chance to Dream: Asperger's Syndrome and Symbolic Activity. Brough, Mrs ABC and the Three Uncles. Cockett, Murder in the Dark: Surviving a Murderous Pathological Organization. Martindale, Psychoanalysis, Psychosis and the NHS: Just a Pipe Dream or a New Beginning. Part III: Analytic Thinking in Health Service Practice. Gore, A4C and the Dissemination of Anxiety. Thomas, The Impact of the Archaic in Mental Health Work. Ward, Confidentiality Matters. Phillips, Why Do a Psychoanalytic Training? O’Connor, Psychiatrist or Psychoanalyst? Do these Disciplines Combine or Conflict? Heller, 'It Was an Accident Waiting to Happen'. Fonagy, Bateman, A Brief History of Mentalisation-Based Treatment and its Roots in Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice. Part IV: Analytic Support to Health Service Staff. Lucas, Relating Psychoanalysis to General Psychiatry: The Role of a Psychosis Workshop. Hale, Hudson, Doctors in Trouble. Ingham, Sedlak, Teaching a Psychoanalytic Approach to Public Sector Mental Health Workers.


    Mary Brownescombe Heller is a consultant clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who worked full-time in the NHS in Teesside for 25 years, where she managed an NHS psychoanalytic psychotherapy service. She now works largely in private practice. She is a lecturer, psychotherapist and supervisor for the BPC accredited training of the North of England Association of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists (NEAPP).

    Sheena Pollet is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy in the 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust in Cheshire. She also works as a Psychoanalyst in private practice.

    "At a time when psychoanalytic thinking is being undermined in the public health service, this book is a welcome demonstration of its value." – Lucinda Hawkins, Journal of Analytical Psychology, 56, 2011