Collaborative work with parents

Magagna, Jeanne and Piercey, Jude (2020) Collaborative work with parents. British Journal of Psychotherapy . ISSN Print ISSN: 0265-9883 Online ISSN: 1752-0118

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The importance of working with the parents in a collaborative way when undertaking a therapy with a young child is demonstrated. This paper illustrates the depth and the different quality of the work when both the child and the parents are helped simultaneously. The paper illustrates the movement in the parents’ thinking from just reacting to the child’s behaviour as ‘being difficult’ to being able to think about the behaviour in terms of it ‘having meaning’ in which the child is conveying a feeling through her behaviour. As well as showing the parents’ psychological development, the clinical example describes the child’s more age appropriate developmental progress. More specifically, it shows how the child was able to relinquish her omnipotent behaviours of ‘always being in charge’ in favour of relying on parents who were psychologically more available to her. Observations show how, as they realized their child’s behaviour wasn’t simply designed to persecute them, the parents were jointly able to create ‘the cradle of concern’ to care for her. As the therapy progressed there was a diminution of unhelpful transgenerational family patterns.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: First published: 19 February 2020. This paper was presented in USA, South America and Australia to psychoanalytic societies and professional audiences that were frequently not offering parental work accompanying the child’s psychotherapy. A two‐year follow‐up to the presentation demonstrated parent work had subsequently become established in some of these institutions.
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Psychotherapy
Families > Parent Child Relations/Parenthood
Families > Families - Psychology
Department/People: Visiting Lecturer

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