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Holding Time: Human Need and Relationships in Dementia Care

: Esther Ramsay-Jones

Informed by the author’s work in dementia care and palliative care as a psychodynamic psychotherapist, Holding Time contributes to an increasing recognition of the importance and value of relationship-centred care in this field. Most of the book is written ethnographically and unfolds as a narrative. It also includes the real words of staff and residents from the care homes in which she conducted observations.   Holding Time explores how the relational investment in care is vital alongside a technical one. The book does this by detailing the micro-interactions of everyday care and concern and play before moving out on to a wider, organisational and macro stage. It addresses our fears about dependency on a societal level, and attempts to challenge the foregrounding of the independent, rational individual over all other experiences.   The author’s contribution is particular to the UK dementia care home setting, and offers a predominantly psychoanalytic take. It is a contemporary exploration of the dementia care field, and contributes to the general movement to improve care of those living (and working) with dementia.   Esther Ramsay-Jones is a lecturer in ‘Death, Dying and Bereavement’ at the Open University.  She has presented her work at various locations around the world and her papers have been published in academic journals and anthologies. Read more…

Street Talk: Not Angry, But Hurting

: Pip Hockton

Written by the founder of ‘Street Talk’ – a charity which takes therapy to women in street prostitution, this unique title sheds light on this marginalised and forgotten group.   Pip Hockton defines the clinical model which has emerged in order to support the practise within Street Talk, to ensure that those carrying out the work, as well as those who might carry it forward, have a clear understanding of the model.   The author has worked with this group of women for more than thirteen years and has learnt a vast amount from them – she is still learning to this day.   Street Talk’s therapists are all highly trained and have discovered ways of engaging with these women by applying principles of object relations theory.  A central guiding principle is to help the women encounter their own humanity, to make human contact, to listen and hear their stories. This is not an easy task, we hear of the barriers to engagement and how they can be overcome by patience, compassion, courage and faith that listening, hearing and bearing witness can help release deep wounds.     The voices of the women come across vividly as the therapeutic approach pioneered by the authors is told through their stories. Read more…

Discover Attachment Theory: showing how our earliest Attachments affect us all throughout our lives

Written in straightforward language, and accessible to the average reader, Discover Attachment Theory is the first of a series of short books which will show how Attachment Theory can be relevant to everybody.   Thirty years ago, Joan Woodward coined the phrase ‘Neurotic Solutions’ as a way of describing how we all develop our highly individual ‘sense of self’ as a result of how we respond to our Attachment experiences from birth onwards.  In the intervening years, and through her work as a psychotherapist, Woodward became interested in the people who have deeply rooted patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving which come from their ‘sense of self.’ These patterns of behaviour often cause them severe suffering, but they find it too painful and difficult to change.  This book outlines what she has learnt.   Woodward’s purpose is to enable readers to understand and think about the process of ‘Neurotic Solutions’ and to apply what they learn to the ways they relate to themselves and to others.  This short book gives her enlightening and highly readable thoughts on ‘Neurotic Solutions,’ updating and clarifying her previous work.     Joan Woodward is the author of a number of titles, including The Lone Twin, published by Free Association Books. Read more…

A Wedding in the Family: Mothers Tell Their Stories of Joy, Conflict and Loss

: Annette Byford

Drawing on her own research as a psychologist and psychotherapist conducted over two years with interviews in real life situations the author provides an insight into the wedding experience from the mother’s point of view and explores the complexities of family relationships that this rite of passage can expose.   The book offers the reader the chance to follow several women from different cultural backgrounds through the time leading up to and beyond their child’s wedding. It is structured around three pivotal stages of the wedding: the announcement of the engagement, the wedding preparations, and the big day itself. The analysis of these interviews forms the main part of the book. It follows the themes emerging from these interviews and explores them placing them in the context of thinking in analytic psychotherapy and family therapy.   The book will not so much help readers to avoid wedding “stress”, but rather help them to make sense of it.   Annette Byford has worked as a psychologist and psychotherapist in private practice for the last 25 years and as a lecturer and supervisor in various settings (university, NHS and the voluntary sector). She is a chartered counselling psychologist and a senior practitioner on the Register of Psychologists specialising in Psychotherapy. Read more…

The Alchemy of Performance Anxiety: Transformation for Artists

: Clare Hogan

With mental health increasingly in the spotlight, this book offers a new perspective on anxiety.  The focus of this book is on the application of psychological alchemical practice to address, explore and examine the nature and cause of anxiety in order to tackle and overcome it. It has never been more relevant to illustrate the reality that scientific, artistic and spiritual understanding, together with practical application, has the capacity to eliminate anxiety and gain personal control, liberation and fulfilment.   The first half of the book identifies the issues to be considered and the second half explains and illustrates the alchemical practices with which to approach them.  While the book puts a slight emphasis on musical performance, it is made clear at the outset that performance concerns everyone and the contents, therefore, apply universally. Music is simply a very clear example.   The book is designed as a personal development book rather than a scholarly work and, although it is relevant to all ages (depending on timing), it was written with 18 – 30 year olds being the main inspiration through apparent and ever increasing necessity.     It is a source book that can be dipped into anywhere or launch further investigation into any of the various disciplines and practices covered. Alchemy has the capacity to bind it all together and the alchemy of performance can become a way of life for anyone.   Clare Hogan teaches at the University of Salford at Masters’ and undergraduate level.  Her subject is primarily the Psychology of Performance.  She also counsels students with anxiety issues and teaches individual vocal technique. Read more…

Dads Don’t Babysit: Towards Equal Parenting

  By turns informative and irreverent this book takes a new approach to tackling gender inequality in the home and at work, focusing on dads being entitled to a bigger role in parenting. It presents the barriers men face to being active dads – from sexist security guards to Tory MPs and even Homer Simpson –  and, crucially, it outlines how to tackle them for the good of men, women and children.   In Dads Don’t Babysit two dads outline some of the biggest problems facing families that want dad to get his turn at raising the kids, and offer a range of solutions in a manifesto for parents and policy makers to consider and hopefully adopt. The book tackles topics such as the gender pay gap, lack of a strong parental leave system in the UK, the financial penalties of taking time off to look after children and the limiting expectations parents find colleagues, relatives and the media have on mums and dads.   The authors draw on their own experience of parenting and that of others.  Interviews are backed up by extensive research so that the book presents these important issues in an accessible, personal and at times light-hearted way that the apolitical reader will be able to relate to.  There is a lively and growing argument about men’s role in the 21st century and this book offers a unique perspective, giving a feminist argument by men offering solutions to benefit everyone.     David Freed is a successful blogger and his website on shared parenting receives thousands of hits per week.  He works part-time as a civil servant, a job he returned to after taking six months parental leave.   James Millar has worked as a journalist for twenty years.  He co-authored The Gender Agenda  (published in 2017) which was based on a popular twitter account @GenderDiary. Read more…

Brighter Futures: A Parents’ Guide To Raising Happy, Confident Children In The Primary School Years.

: Dr. Liz Dawes, Nicola Gorringe, Dr. Katherine Hodson, Dr. Lucy Russell, Dr. Jennifer Swanston, Dr. Susan Wimshurst

Brighter Futures has been written by a team of clinical psychologists for parents and carers of children aged 4-11.  This book tackles some of the challenges that face a child of this age in the modern world.   Maybe your child is struggling to live life to the full. Perhaps worries are holding them back? Maybe they are finding friendships tricky? Maybe teachers have raised concerns that something is getting in the way of your child being happy or fulfilling their potential at school?   The team of clinical psychologists guide you through exactly what to do, from figuring out the roots of the problem, to making and reviewing a manageable plan of action.   Each chapter follows the same approach and contains tried and tested strategies that are practical and are focused on the areas of concern.  You will be encouraged to consider changes which could make a big difference.   This book considers the whole child and all the aspects which make up their world including environment, their routines, diet, exercise, brain development, their feelings and their views and helps you guide your child to learn the essential skills of life. Read more…

Is Your School Lying To You? Get The Career You Want, Get The Life You Deserve.

: Edd Williams

  The world is changing. Education is changing, but careers and university advice isn’t, and more than that it hasn’t for the last 30 years. The teachers we are entrusting with our children’s futures lack the essential skills and experience to competently advise them – a view that is also held by employers, Ofsted, The Department for Education, The Sutton Trust, and other think-tanks.   Is Your School Lying to You? Get The Career You Want. Get The Life You Deserve. is the complete, comprehensive ‘how to’ academic and careers guide aimed at every student considering their options. It is for anyone who is struggling with their decisions, those who want some clear advice about what they should be doing and when, or those who know exactly what they want but aren’t sure how to go about it.  In fact, it’s aimed at every student who cares about their future. This book offers real world insights about how to identify what you really want from your life, how to plot your academic journey and its impact on your career prospects, how to write your personal statement or CV, advice from successful people from a variety of industries, best practice for interviews, work experience, internships and a host of other critical skills to help achieve your goals – even if you don’t know what those goals might yet be.       Edd Williams is a successful recruitment consultant and has many years of experience in dealing with industry, speaking to employers, looking at CVs, prepping people for interviews and helping people of all ages access the careers of their choice.  He is also an academic and careers consultant, school governor, parent and regular blogger. Read more…

Mad To Be Normal

: Robert Mullan

Re-released with a new introduction, and to coincide with a film of the same title (directed by the author), Mad To Be Normal is the memoir R. D. Laing never lived to write.  In the last two years of Laing’s life, he recorded hundreds of hours of conversation with Robert Mullan in which he was determined to be as frank and open as possible, and equally determined to ‘put the record straight’. R. D. Laing wrote a number of books during the 1960s which rocked the foundations of conventional psychiatry and galvanized the imagination of millions of ordinary readers. His views were against the grain of conventional psychiatry – his existential approach to madness was controversial, and his work brought into focus matters of individual liberty and the importance of the social context of ‘illness’. The greatest accusation he suffered was that he idealised mental misery – something he consistently denied. Mad to be Normal presents Laing’s own words, about his work and about his life.  It is the most complete record on Laing, by Laing.  Entertaining, maddening, surprising, impressive, occasionally scurrilous, and evoking a compelling portrait of the heady and sometimes self-regarding mood of the 1960s and early l970s, this books necessitates a reassessment of Laing and his work; work which is part of a lengthier and on-going process concerned with the routine care of those disturbed in mind. Dr Robert Mullan is a film director, writer, and producer.  He is the author of a number of books, including Are Mothers Really Necessary?, Social Workers: The Student’s View, and Moving Pictures: The Making of Letters to Sofija. Read more…

Forensic Arts Therapies: Anthology of Practice and Research

: Kate Rothwell (Editor)

The field of forensic arts therapies is dynamic and diverse, and so this unique volume covers a fascinating range of work.  It brings together a collection of presentations given at FATAG conferences, case studies, research, new developments in theory, and explorations in the peculiarities of forensic arts therapies: art, music, drama, and dance.     Therapists work with male and female offenders in detained in prisons or secure health care units, or sometimes with patients involved in probation or counselling services, victim support, and other services and institutions concerned with understanding the causes and effects of crime.   The experiences described are often difficult, but also very rewarding for all involved.  Arts therapy (in any of its forms) regularly has a profound and beneficial effect on the life of an offender.  This thought-provoking and enlightening work gives an insight into how these skilled professionals have been a necessary part of UK forensic services for more than four decades.     The Forensic Arts Therapies Advisory Group (FATAG) is a voluntary organisation which aims to provide support, advice and opportunities for continuing professional development for arts therapists working in forensic or secure settings and trainee arts therapists on clinical placement in forensics.  FATAG provides a safe space to share difficult, complex and, at times, painful work not easily shared amongst a non-forensic audience. Read more…