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.