Between internal and external : Exploring race culture through clinicians' experiences of darker skin colour in psychoanalytic child and adolescent psychotherapy

Ogoe, Anthony (2020) Between internal and external : Exploring race culture through clinicians' experiences of darker skin colour in psychoanalytic child and adolescent psychotherapy. Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust/University of Essex.

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Abstract

This qualitative research thesis looks to investigate the phenomenon of skin colour in the field of psychoanalytic child psychotherapy. This research is interested in why conversations around racialised skin colour appears to be a quiet aspect of psychoanalytic thinking and is known as an ‘under-researched area’. The thesis begins with a comprehensive literature review into how racialised skin colour has been understood in psychoanalytic and social psychological/sociological theory. Then explored are the experiences of psychoanalytic child psychotherapists with darker skin colour, as a point of entry to observing the culture around race within the profession. Employed is a unique mixed method design undertaking four semi structured interviews in combination with an autoethnographic narrative analysis. Investigated are the ways darker skin colour is experienced in the mind of the individual clinician, the interpersonal therapy space and professional discourse. Findings suggest psychoanalytic child psychotherapy must find ways to radically move away from (and with awareness) of traditionally psychoanalytic and politically affected race rhetoric, to develop a culture where trainees and qualified professionals feel safe to explore race with one another. This is imperative if the profession can offer young people and their families an authentic therapeutic experience, where novel, dynamic and developmentally valuable interpersonal moments are able to analyse the racial experience. This thesis provides essential thought and development of new ideas and considerations for psychoanalytic child psychotherapy thinking, practice and training.

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 Essex for the degree of Professional Doctorate in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Full text available for download on 27 November 2025.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Diversity
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Psychotherapy
Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Adolescents - Psychotherapy
Research, Tests, Assessments > Psychotherapy Research
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Research
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2451

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