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Bhownagary, A. (1983). Individual Work in a Young Family Care Centre. J. Child Psychother., 9(2):161-169.

(1983). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 9(2):161-169

Individual Work in a Young Family Care Centre

Asha Bhownagary

In this paper I would like to consider the benefits of individual work, based on a psychotherapeutic approach, with severely deprived children. The children I worked with in a Young Family Care Centre come from very disturbed family backgrounds and live in an environment unlikely to change dramatically. The problems often stem from a cycle of deprivation going back many generations, which offers little hope of improvement. These are the kinds of children who tend to go without psychotherapy for a variety of reasons: perhaps the parents cannot allow them to receive help nor sustain their efforts in getting the children to their appointments; the problems are not felt to lie with the children; the likelihood of a successful outcome is slim; resources are scarce. I believe that such children can benefit from psychotherapeutically oriented help in the early years of their life, and I shall illustrate this with my work with a little boy over a period of one and a half years.

The work took place in a Day Centre for young families with children under five years of age. They are usually referred by general practitioners, social workers, or health visitors, for a wide range of problems. These problems include drug addiction, alcoholism, schizophrenic parents, depressed single mothers, violence in the home, non-accidental injury to the child, failure to thrive, and marital problems, as well as bad social conditions in regard to housing, unemployment, and financial difficulties.

The Centre attempts to promote better family relations, offering an alternative experience of parenting, focusing on emotional stability and development.

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