How do members of a multidisciplinary team involved in running a therapeutic playgroup understand their role in the work?

Pollard, Laura (2014) How do members of a multidisciplinary team involved in running a therapeutic playgroup understand their role in the work? Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust/University of East London. Full text available

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Abstract

The aim of this study is to investigate how a multidisciplinary Therapeutic Playgroup within a Children’s Centre functions, and the role of a child psychotherapist working in that setting. The playgroup studied is located in a deprived local urban community with a large population of young children. The founding members of the service recognised that historically there had been a low take up rate of professional services for young children. When an experienced and long-serving child psychotherapist left the service, the team requested that a child psychotherapist replace her, and I joined the team, while still in my fourth year of training. Reflecting on my own experience, and what I learned about my predecessor’s contribution, I became interested in the specific role of a child psychotherapist in this setting. I investigated how the Therapeutic Playgroup operated, what were the origins and the history of the model, and how this had developed over time. I used a qualitative approach; this included interviewing staff members and recording my observations of their work. I became a participant-observer, continuing my professional work in the service, but with an additional research agenda. During the data collection, the Children’s Centre, and the Therapeutic Playgroup within which it was situated, was confronted with diminishing budgets, redundancies and uncertainty surrounding whether it would remain open. The impact of these changes on the staff group is explored in the study. Researching how the team had operated during less turbulent times revealed a leadership function in operation. The team consisted of people who were committed and who invested in the ‘mission’ of the institution. From the data, ideas are formed about a type of emotional ‘experience’ that a child psychotherapist can provide, which describes a distinctive professional contribution to this work.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and the University of East London for the degree of Professional Doctorate in Child Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Child Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Psychotherapy
Research, Tests, Assessments > Psychotherapy Research
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Research
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/1949

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