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Novick, K.K. (1976). A Child Psychotherapist in a Nurse-Patient Group. J. Child Psychother., 4(2):107-119.

(1976). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 4(2):107-119

A Child Psychotherapist in a Nurse-Patient Group

Kerry Kelly Novick

This report is an attempt to describe a year's work in a weekly group for adolescent inpatients and their outpatient parents. The group, originally staffed by the two or three nurses on the adolescent unit, was part of the treatment offered in the small adolescent unit, which is part of the Cassel Hospital. The unit consists of about twelve adolescent inpatients, aged approximately 14-19, two to three psychiatric staff, two to three nurses, child psychotherapist, psychiatric social worker, educational psychologist, with the backup of other medical and psychotherapy staff in the hospital. The adolescent patients’ treatment included twice-weekly individual psychotherapy, twice-weekly clinical groups with their own nurse, daily area meetings of the adolescent group with its own staff and the single adult patients and staff, thrice-weekly community meetings, involving the whole hospital population, and the Parents' group. In addition to this, all patients were expected to contribute to the domestic and administrative work of the hospital, and most either studied or worked as soon as they were able.

Parents, on the other hand, had originally little formal involvement with their children's treatment programme, beyond the stage of initial consultation before admission, and the nurse's home visit. After admission of the adolescent patient, contact with the family was maintained by nurses, on the basis of mutual demand, and thus varied greatly from one family to another. A similar pattern of occasional consultation by parents with the consultant in charge of the unit prevailed.

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