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Hurley, A. (2010). Reparation by proxy: experiences of working with pregnant teenagers and adolescent mothers. J. Child Psychother., 36(2):101-118.

(2010). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 36(2):101-118


Reparation by proxy: experiences of working with pregnant teenagers and adolescent mothers

Anne Hurley

This paper describes brief work with pregnant teenagers, adolescent mothers, their infants and their wider families, a group who would not ordinarily seek treatment in child and adolescent mental health services. The work takes place in a community context in London and includes a home visiting service for young people unable to attend appointments in an advanced stage of pregnancy or in the early weeks of new motherhood. Accounts of emotional deprivation, disrupted care and separation in early childhood are often a feature of the history of many of these adolescents. Two case examples are considered in some detail. It is argued that for some young people, embarking on parenthood in adolescence is accompanied by the displaced attempt at repairing their own early relationships, as an alternative to the painful work of mourning.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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