Waiting To Be Found: Papers on Children in Care

Overview

This book is about children in State care and its title – Waiting to be Found – is derived from an observation about such children by the child psychotherapist Hamish Canham. In one of his early papers Canham wrote that children’s homes often reminded him of "station waiting rooms with children waiting to move on to their next placement and staff waiting for the next shift, or working as a residential social worker in order to get experience before moving on to do something else or further training.” This book ...
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Waiting To Be Found: Papers on Children in Care

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Overview

This book is about children in State care and its title – Waiting to be Found – is derived from an observation about such children by the child psychotherapist Hamish Canham. In one of his early papers Canham wrote that children’s homes often reminded him of "station waiting rooms with children waiting to move on to their next placement and staff waiting for the next shift, or working as a residential social worker in order to get experience before moving on to do something else or further training.” This book takes his comment about waiting rooms as its starting point, with each contributor building upon its central implications. The contributors to this book each explore the importance of relationship; whether between child and care system, child and clinician or other practitioner, practitioners with practitioners, or individuals with the organization in which they work. Overall they demonstrate when attention is paid to any one of these relationships this determines emotional-psycho-social success for the child, and how when this attention is missing serious issues arise. As a snapshot view of the way Canham’s focus is used today, they show that he was ahead of his time in thinking about the structure and function of what we now recognize as the corporate parent.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Andrew Briggs has pulled together a remarkable and inspiring book, in which he begins with a tribute to the exceptional range and depth of thinking of the late Hamish Canham, who died at an early age. Canham's own republished papers are reminders of his ability to integrate exceptional clinical insight with understanding of the importance of relationships between professionals and within organisations if the lives and future prospects of looked-after children are to be transformed. The essence of the message in all the chapters is the necessity of remaining deeply emotionally engaged, capable of reflection, and mindful of the danger of enactment. This truthful volume will become an invaluable source of knowledge born from direct experience, for many generations to come."

"This fine book, brought together by Andrew Briggs, is both a tribute to the work and thinking of a gifted and highly imaginative child psychotherapist, the late Hamish Canham, and simultaneously a most original exploration of the contribution that psychoanalytic insight can bring to the understanding of the emotional world of children in care. The authors' focus on seeing the child in the wider social and organisational context she or he inhabits, with its complex network of relationships, breaks new ground and carries significant implications both for practice and policy. It should be widely read."

"This collection of papers gives extraordinary insight into the chilling, upsetting, and disturbing emotional and social worlds of a group of children exposed to what all of us fear -- the fundamental breakdown of our parent's capacity to safely and lovingly care for us. When the state takes over that role, the thoughts and feelings of the child bring the worst of nightmares into a lived reality. It takes enormous insight, wisdom, and endurance to work alongside that reality and every one of the papers in this book conveys exactly how that might be done."

"This is a wonderfully insightful, moving, and important book that deepens and advances our appreciation of the psychological and social predicaments of children in care, of the challenge we face in understanding and helping them, and of how to help ourselves in the task of working with the complex social systems they inhabit. Hamish Canham's brilliant papers are the centrepiece, but the contributions of other authors are equally significant. The book is a lasting tribute to one practitioner who engaged with universal themes in work with children, some of them very dark, that continue to demand our close attention and clinical engagement."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781780490663
  • Publisher: Karnac Books
  • Publication date: 10/28/2012
  • Series: Tavistock Clinic Series
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Preface xi

Acknowledgements xv

About the Editor and Contributors xvii

Preface xxiii

Foreword xxix

Introduction 1

I Canham: writer and clinical thinker

1 Focusing on the relationship with the child Andrew Briggs 25

Selected Papers Hamish Canham

2 Growing up in residential care [1998] 45

3 The development of the concept of time in fostered and adopted children [1999] 61

4 Exporting the Tavistock model to social services: clinical consultative and teaching aspects [2000] 72

5 Group and gang states of mind [2002] 85

6 The relevance of the Oedipus myth to fostered and adopted children [2003] 102

7 Spitting, kicking and stripping: technical difficulties encountered in the treatment of deprived children [2004] 119

II Working with children in care

8 The expressed wishes and feelings of children Biddy Youell 135

9 Innate possibilities: experiences of hope in child psychotherapy Simon Cregeen 152

10 The riddle of the Sphinx Jenny Sprince 172

11 Neglect and its effects: understandings from developmental science and the therapist's countertransference Graham Music 191

12 Creating a "third position" to explore oedipal dynamics in the task and organization of a therapeutic school John Diamond 210

13 Facing reality: Oedipus and the organization Deirdre Moylan 222

14 Turning a blind eye or daring to see: how might consultation and clinical interventions help Looked After Children and their carers to cope with mental pain? Louise Emanuel 241

15 Physical control, strip searching, and segregation: observations on the deaths of children in custody Deborah Coles Helen Shaw 257

16 Observation, containment, countertransference: the contribution of psychoanalytic thinking to contemporary relationship-based social work practice Stephen Briggs 271

Endpiece 287

Publications Hamish Canham 293

References 295

Index 309

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