A reflective evaluation of a feeding clinic intervention—Parents as a reflecting team

Moynihan, Manus and Illsley, Sarah (2022) A reflective evaluation of a feeding clinic intervention—Parents as a reflecting team. British Journal of Learning Disabilities . ISSN 1354-4187 (Print); 1468-3156 (Electronic) (Submitted)

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Background: This feeding clinic engaged parents as active participants in a group intervention. Parents' participated behind a two-way mirror. This novel approach to practice in this domain largely evolved from an integration of theory, service user feedback, service development and the local context. This review sought to understand how parents experienced being part of a reflecting team in this way. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were completed and analysed using thematic analysis. The researchers took a critical realist approach to the research, data analysis and report writing. Findings: Parents talked about benefiting from perspective taking that enabled them to see the child in context, which in part supported novel understandings of their child's feeding and their relationship to it. Three themes were identified: 1. “Connection and Distance” explored parents' experience of being behind the screen in terms of the dialectic potential that was created by being simultaneously close to and distanced from their children and the other parents. 2. “Playing with Techniques” describes the way parents valued learning in the group through discussion and working on techniques between sessions. In particular, they moved from looking for techniques to thinking about how and when to use “techniques” that is, second-order change. 3. “Unexpected Gains” describes how parents came to new and unexpected insights about their understanding of their children, the presenting issues and their relationships to these issues. Conclusion: Parents' experiences suggest that there is merit in engaging parents in a reflecting team in a feeding clinic. This way of working with parents supports their engagement in change and positions them as active agents of this change. Parents taking up this position has the advantage of moving from passive consumers of health care to active and critical collaborators.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Disability, Eating difficulties, Feeding, Group work, Reflecting team, Second‐order change
Subjects: Disabilities & Disorders (mental & physical) > Eating Disorders
Families > Parent Child Relations/Parenthood
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2615

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