How do the narratives of depressed adolescents and their parents compare?

Maliphant, Jessica (2021) How do the narratives of depressed adolescents and their parents compare? Professional Doctorate thesis, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust/University of Essex. Full text available

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Abstract

This qualitative study used psychoanalytically informed narrative analysis to explore the narratives of two clinically-depressed adolescents alongside their parents’ narratives. The study also aimed to explore the co-construction of narrative as observed in psychoanalytic psychotherapy sessions. Two cases were transcribed and analysed. For each case, two adolescent therapy sessions were compared with one parent session. From this analysis, several overlapping themes were seen to arise between the adolescent’s and their parent’s narratives. These themes included a sense of persecution and anxiety related to expressing distressing emotion. It is suggested that the way in which the adolescents’ narratives often mirrored their parents’ narratives indicates a close link between how the adolescents and their parents understood and experienced the world around them. Significantly, it is argued that the difficulties faced by the parents – as seen principally in their narratives revealing a sense of persecution and difficulty expressing distressing emotion – combine to leave the adolescent feeling isolated, fearful and lacking capacity to manage the tumultuous period of adolescence. These factors are considered to be key to the adolescent’s difficulties and, as such, contributing to their depression. Several comparable themes were also seen to arise between the two depressed adolescents . These themes included an idea that talking about emotions might be dangerous, the difficulty of being in between quarrelling family members, lack of belief-in-self and a wish for robust containment. It is hoped that this small study supports the ongoing need for parent work within resource-pressurised times and adds to an understanding of contributary factors in adolescent depression.

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.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Professional Doctorate in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Adolescents - Psychotherapy
Disabilities & Disorders (mental & physical) > Depression
Families > Parent Child Relations/Parenthood
Research, Tests, Assessments > Psychotherapy Research
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Research
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2585

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