Towards Belonging: Negotiating New Relationships for Adopted Children and Those in Care

Editor : Andrew Briggs

Part of The Tavistock Clinic series - more in this series

Towards Belonging: Negotiating New Relationships for Adopted Children and Those in Care

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : April 2015
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 288
  • Category :
    Child and Adolescent Studies
  • Catalogue No : 37182
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782203247
  • ISBN 10 : 1782203249
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This book includes contributions from a wide range of interested observers and practitioners in the field of children in care and adoption, focusing on a core aspect of their emotional well-being and mental health. It focuses in particular on psychoanalytic, systemic and attachment theory approaches to the question of 'belonging': can these children allow themselves to belong to their new families, and also can these new families allow themselves to belong to these children? Highly innovative clinical work with these children in various settings is discussed alongside chapters that provide thought-provoking commentaries from practitioners surveying the often extremely disturbing societal and systemic landscape for the emotional lives of these children.

The book is written to be accessible to clinicians, practitioners, researchers, policy advisors and students of all disciplines who have an interest in or brief to work with fostered and adopted children. It is hoped that the book will be used for teaching purposes on courses qualifying professionals across the child development, mental health and social care spectrum.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘All children need to know that they belong. In this extraordinarily rich collection of chapters, expert authors from a wide range of professions and theoretical persuasions explore this great and often unmet need amongst the most troubled children and young people in society, and reflect on how to respond in helpful and healing ways. This book will help to establish the whole theme of belonging as an area of focus and concern both in professional practice and in academic discourse.’
— Adrian Ward, author of Leadership in Residential Child Care and formerly consultant social worker at the Tavistock Clinic

‘Written by a multidisciplinary group of professionals, this book should become a basic text as it is essential reading for all parents, social workers, and therapists working with a child experiencing attachment, trauma, separation, and loss. The book shows how a child and his or her caregivers’ primitive protections against anxiety prohibit intimacy and dependency, and how understanding the projected feelings evoked in the adults and the child can lead to a sense of belonging to one another and avoid ruptured relationships.’
— Jeanne Magagna, former Head of Psychotherapy Service, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children

‘This is a well-timed contribution to the field of social care and psychotherapy. Towards Belonging is full of practical examples, useful concepts, and philosophical riches located within real practice settings that are cognisant of, and affected by, state and social policy contexts. The book is a rallying call for the recognition of the complexity of practice at a time when financial cuts create restrictive practices that pervade mental health and social care services. What impresses in each contribution is the author’s commitment to engage with head and heart in finding ways to help children to belong.’
— Jim Wilson, consultant systemic family therapist and author of Child-Focused Practice: A Collaborative Systemic Approach and The Performance of Practice: Enhancing the Repertoire of Therapy with Children and Families

About the Editor(s)

Andrew Briggs is Head of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, Sussex Partnership NHS Trust, and an organisational consultant with many years experience working with senior managers and teams within public sector and not-for-profit organisations delivering services to adopted children and children in care. He is a visiting lecturer to Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust for courses on public sector leadership and management, and was a former Teaching Fellow in the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex, and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Kent Institute for Medical and Health Studies, University of Kent. He is the author of many peer-reviewed papers on aspects of child and adolescent psychotherapy and editor of two books in the Karnac Tavistock series: Surviving Space: Papers on Infant Observation (2002), and Waiting to be Found: Papers on Children in Care (2012).

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