Reviving therapeutic social work

Cooper, Andrew (2015) Reviving therapeutic social work. New Associations (19). pp. 1-2.

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What has happened to the relationship between social work and psychoanalytic psychotherapy? Twenty years ago social work trainings rooted in psychoanalytic casework flourished in several parts of the UK, and certain social work agencies like the Family Welfare Association and Family Service Units were a key part of the ‘supply chain’ for psychoanalytic training institutions. I myself left front line social work practice in 1987 to work in a social work training school that was part of this network of interconnections between psychoanalysis and social work. But the decade that followed saw a radical decline in the fortunes of psychoanalytically informed social work practice and training. By the time I moved to the Tavistock in 1996 to lead the social work discipline, there was a sense that the Tavi was a final frontier for clinical social work in this country. Key training programmes had closed, the casework model came under attack in the context of ‘care management’ approaches, and psychiatric social work as a speciality had lost its leadership and organisational footing.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Autumn edition
Subjects: Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Social Welfare > Social Welfare Personnel
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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