What can be learnt from offering therapeutic work to parents and infants (under the age of five) in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) clinic that does not routinely offer this type of intervention?

Allender, Rachel W (2020) What can be learnt from offering therapeutic work to parents and infants (under the age of five) in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) clinic that does not routinely offer this type of intervention? Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust/University of East London. Full text available

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Abstract

This project set out to explore how a model of brief parent-child psychotherapy, involving children under the age of five, could be applied in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) clinic which does not routinely offer therapeutic intervention to this age group. I hoped to learn about how the work would be received by both service users, as well as by colleagues. The literature review revealed extensive contributions from both theoretical and clinical perspectives, highlighting the evidence base for parent-child psychotherapy with young children, and focusing primarily on brief models of intervention. Five families were each offered five parent-child psychotherapy sessions, based on the Tavistock Under-Fives model, and data was gathered and analysed from both the clinical intervention and from interviews and standardised outcome measures. Thematic analysis revealed interesting themes, including ideas relating to communication and connection, physical expression and roles. At the end of treatment, parents appeared increasingly able to think about their child’s difficulties and needs within the context of the family. Feedback gained through outcome measures and the therapy sessions indicated that generally the parents found the intervention helpful and they were pleased to have taken part. There was, however, because of the time limited nature of the project, a desire for continued therapeutic intervention, which suggests that increased flexibility, in terms of the duration of treatment, would be helpful in future work. Despite the intervention being brief, change and an increased capacity to think about the child’s communication and wellbeing was evident. The intervention informed ongoing liaison between professionals, something which emerged as an important finding. An increasing interest in work with young children was evident from the families, my colleagues and other professionals. Recommendations regarding the potential development and expansion of this model are also made in this thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Additional Information: A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of East London in collaboration with The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust for the Professional Doctorate in Child Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Psychotherapy
Families > Families - Psychology
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Brief Therapies
Research, Tests, Assessments > Psychotherapy Research
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Research
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2458

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