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    Fight, flight, freeze, (for)give: what do we hear when we listen to child psychotherapists talk about parents and parent work in the context of their daily practice

    Bor, Roni Zehava (2020) Fight, flight, freeze, (for)give: what do we hear when we listen to child psychotherapists talk about parents and parent work in the context of their daily practice. DPsych thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    This thesis presents qualitative research exploring the place of parents and parent work in child psychotherapy through the way in which child psychotherapists in England talk about it. The idea was formed by the researcher’s own experience as a child psychotherapist trainee in a CAMHS setting, where she noticed marked differences in how professionals practiced parent work. Further exploration revealed an area that suffers from a lack of resources and support in both theoretical literature and training schools. To explore the gaps in literature and in practice, an open-ended interview of four questions was designed. The first and broadest question was: ‘What is the place of parents in Child Psychotherapy? How do you make sense of Parent work in your daily practice?’ Eleven senior child psychotherapists in private practice in London (in parallel to NHS posts in the past or present) agreed to be interviewed. All interviews were recorded, transcribed and kept confidentially in a non-identifiable way, but only seven were chosen for full analysis. Narrative Analysis, which helps reveal personal stories based on an individual’s experience, was the methodology used to analyse participants’ accounts. Gee’s (1991) linguistic approach specifically was used, which focuses on audible characteristics of speech, like emphasised and prolonged words, breaks, stammering. Analysis of the material revealed three main narrative themes: ‘Threat’- a serious, careful approach with a sense of heavy responsibility and burden; ‘A wobbly space’- a therapeutic space where parents seem to be coming in and out of focus and the attitude towards them alternates between distant and close; ‘Identity in action’- an active, assertive professional identity that pushes towards development and change. The thesis will discuss possible underlying reasons for these narratives, including issues to do with ‘power’, boundaries within the profession, and therapists’ passion to make a difference in their patients’ lives.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2021 11:19
    Last Modified: 06 Oct 2021 11:19


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