32 Slices
Medium 9781855757462

CHAPTER EIGHT: I'll Tell You a Story

Hilary A. Davies Karnac Books ePub

“Just sit for a few moments and I'll tell you a story,” the therapist began as the trainee was settling herself into her usual chair exactly one week later.

“Your story last week reminded me about families’ individuality and individual circumstances.

“Quite a long time ago, when I was just beginning this work, when I was a trainee like you are now, I met with a family who were experiencing some difficulties.

“The mother was a sole parent, was depressed, and her small son's behaviour was beyond her control. The psychological input at the clinic worked to a certain extent, though the family were poor attenders and it was felt that the mother was not committed to the programme and was really struggling to cope.

“The team felt that they should be referred to the social services department for assessment of risk to the child.

“The social services department found that the mother did not have the fares to attend the programme every week and had difficulty managing her young son on the three buses when she was able to come to the clinic.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855755154

Chapter Ten: Perspectives and practice

Hilary A. Davies Karnac Books ePub

Regardless of personal experience of psychoanalysis or psychoanalytic psychotherapy, therapists with fami-lies may wish in their practice to draw on concepts from psychoanalytic thinking, which can add to knowledge about the deepest sources of illness in the mental lives of children and families. Importantly, psychoanalytic theory can offer thera-pists with families some additional understanding of difficulty in changing, either by a family as a whole or by individual members. The central place in psychoanalytic theory of the concepts of defence against anxiety and of emotional conflict can give an important insight into reluctance or slow pace of change. The importance of containment is emphasized in more recent psycho-analytic thinking.

The pace of change will vary for different families. It may some-times take longer—not because the family is doing anything wrong or the therapist has forgotten a vital intervention, and not because the family is resistant to treatment and/or is too ill or stuck to be able to use available interventions. As psychoanalytic theory tells us, where an individual has built defences against anxiety or other unmanageable feelings, or is troubled by overwhelming conflict of emotions, it is predictable that it will take time to develop a therapeutic relationship in which the causes of anxiety, the defences against it, and unbearable conflict can be explored before it is safe to move towards change.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855757462

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Funny That/Funny This

Hilary A. Davies Karnac Books ePub

When she met again with the 3-Point Therapist exactly one week later, the trainee was pleased but confused.

I thought a lot more about the Barker family and the meeting of which I told you last week. It seemed that all I really did was ask them a couple of questions and gain information about them and what they had already done”

“And?” queried the therapist simply.

Well, what happened then was that they told me that their real problem was that they had never agreed between them on how to manage their son's behaviour, though they seemed to me to have tried everything. There was nothing that I could add and again I felt pretty useless and helpless.

“How do you think the parents were feeling?”

They told me that they had been feeling completely useless and helpless. Funny that, I seemed to have been feeling the same as them.”

“Yes, funny that, but maybe useful information, do you think?”

Yes, maybe” replied the trainee slowly and thoughtfully.

“So what do you think happened in the session?”

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855757462

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: . . . And the Balls

Hilary A. Davies Karnac Books ePub

“So now, then, you can go on and teach Millie more and more things using the same method” the trainee offered eagerly, returning to the story of the cat as soon as she had sat down into her comfortable chair exactly one week later.

“You could teach her almost anything”

“What exactly did you have in mind?” enquired the therapist, seeming a little perplexed. “Could you give me an example or two?”

I think I can give several.” The trainee became enthusiastic, thinking ahead to transferring this conversation and this technique to her therapy sessions.

“In a similar way, you could teach her some tricks, teach her to …

The 3-Point Therapist stood up and went over to the mantelpiece just a few paces away. She picked up five or six small coloured juggling balls. She threw one gently to the trainee who caught it deftly and stood up as she saw another ball coming her way.

“Can you juggle with two balls?” the therapist asked, as she herself easily tossed two balls rhythmically into the air.

“Yes, I think so .” The trainee was again feeling a little perplexed, but had learnt to go with the flow and see what happened.”Yes, I am sure I can, it's not too difficult” and with some ease and more than a little concentration she juggled the two balls above her head for a few moments.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781855757462

CHAPTER TWELVE: In an Unexpected Way

Hilary A. Davies Karnac Books ePub

The trainee was beginning to understand, but was also feeling quite confused.

The 3-Point Therapist seemed to be teaching her something quite different – not what she had come to learn and not what she was expecting, but something was working and in an unexpected way.

She arrived the following week and settled into the therapist's room.

“Last week in my training placement I saw a new family, a really diff … a family with many difficulties.” She corrected quickly, hoping that the therapist had not noticed her near lapse into unacceptable language. “ The Barkers.

The two parents came with a very troubled child with extremely challenging behaviour. I had felt anxious and not sufficiently prepared, as the child's difficulty was in an area of which I had little knowledge and certainly no experience nor expertise.

“I remembered your instruction to listen well and make close notes on a new family with a particularly challenging problem. And I also remembered that I should simply ask the family about themselves, their situation, their solutions. I knew that I had to be prepared to listen very hard and very carefully indeed.To be honest, I was beginning to see how this way of talking and being with families actually related to doing therapy and, indeed, I think I was beginning to realize that this was, in fact, therapy itself. This, not techniques, not strategies, but curious and purposeful interest and listening.

See All Chapters

See All Slices