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This book illustrates the distinctive psychoanalytic contribution to mental health services for children, young people, and adults, with detailed case vignettes illustrating therapeutic treatment and the ways in which staff are supported to do work that is frequently difficult and disturbing.
Psychoanalytic thinking contributes to effective mental health work on many levels, from Balint’s “Flash” technique in the brief GP/patient encounter to the psychiatric medical and nursing care in secure units, where the most challenging patients need to be held. Starting with the historical contribution of psychoanalysis to the NHS in the 1940s, this book goes on to explore two key psychoanalytic concepts that remain highly relevant to the work of mental health: containment and countertransference.
The authors include psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, organisational consultants, consultant psychiatrists, and a leading practitioner in the field of primary care. Between them, they address a wide range of contemporary issues, including the complexity of work with traumatised individuals, including refugees; the wide-ranging psychoanalytic contribution to child and adolescent services; the impact on commissioning of a market culture skewed towards targets and quick wins; and the working conditions that can cause staff to neglect and abuse their patients, and/or become ill themselves. Detailed case vignettes and discussion illustrate the psychoanalytic understanding required, if the NHS is to continue to tackle the complex mental health problems that face our society today.
With contributions by Julia Britton, Tim Dartington, Clare Gerada, Richard Ingram, Amanda Keenan, Marilyn Miller, Turlough Mills, Carine Minne, Siobhan O’Connor, Christopher Scanlon, Judy Shuttleworth, Wilhelm Skogstad, Michael Smith, Joanne Stubley, Kyriakos Thomaidis-Zades, and Alison Vaspe.