142 pages | 1 B/W Illus.
Therapeutic Approaches for Babies and Young Children in Care: Observation and Attention is about the value of observation and close attention for babies and young children who may be vulnerable to psychological and attachment difficulties. Case studies explore the potential for observation-based therapeutic approaches to support caregivers, social workers, and professional networks. A third theme in the book is the roots of observation-based approaches in psychoanalytic infant observation and the contribution of these ways of working to professional training and continuing development.
Using case examples, Jenifer Wakelyn illustrates observational ways of working that can be practised by professionals and family members to help children express themselves and feel understood. The interventions focus on the early stages of life in care and on the "golden thread" of relationships with caregivers. The book explores contemporary neuroscience and child development research alongside psychoanalytic theory to explore the role of attention in helping children to develop the internal continuity that sustains the personality and protects against the fragmenting impact of trauma.
Therapeutic Approaches for Babies and Young Children in Care is written for social workers, teachers, medical staff, and other professionals whose work brings them in contact with the youngest children in care; it will also be relevant for commissioners, managers, and trainers as well as mental health clinicians who are starting to work with children in care. It will provide a valuable insight into the lives of infants and young children in the care system and the applications of psychoanalytic infant observation.
"The experience of reading this book will be therapeutic for many professionals who may feel daunted and overwhelmed by trying to help children whose lives have been severely disrupted and who have lost trust that they will ever be genuinely ‘seen’."–from the Foreword by Dilys Daws, Honorary Consultant Child Psychotherapist, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust; founder member, Association of Infant Mental Health, UK; co-author of Finding Your Way with Your Baby: The Emotional Life of Parents and Babies (Routledge)
"In this profoundly important book, Jenifer Wakelyn and her colleagues sensitively and skilfully offer acute insights into the lived experiences of babies and young children in care and their caregivers. The book conveys deeply empathic, compassionate and hopeful understandings of trauma and what is needed to recover from it. In so doing it makes a vital contribution to practitioners’ abilities to access, and better understand, the internal worlds of the children and families they work with and provides invaluable guidance to support them in developing and delivering attentive and attuned professional engagement."–Gillian Ruch, Professor of Social Work, University of Sussex, UK and Co-editor, Journal of Social Work Practice
Series Editors’ Preface
Foreword by Dilys Daws
Chapter 1: Being seen
Chapter 2: Therapeutic observation
Chapter 3: Clinical research: therapeutic observation with an infant in foster care
Chapter 4: Learning from the research
Chapter 5: Therapeutic observation in clinical practice
Chapter 6: Briefer interventions: Watch Me Play!
Chapter 7: Practice considerations for the Watch Me Play! approach
Suggested further reading and resources