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Melzak, S. McLoughlin, C. Watt, F. (2018). Shifting ground: the child without family in a strange new community. J. Child Psychother., 44(3):326-347.

(2018). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 44(3):326-347

Clinical papers

Shifting ground: the child without family in a strange new community

Sheila Melzak, Claudia McLoughlin and Ferelyth Watt

In Winnicott’s idea of the child developing in the context of their family, community and the wider world – assuming good enough parenting – the child has experiences that lead to basic trust. It is here that playing can take place. From this starting point, we want to demonstrate how the different levels of our specific and unique ways of working with and on behalf of young unaccompanied refugees often add up to more than the sum of their parts. Through working flexibly and creatively on the boundary between the ever-shifting internal and external worlds of these multiply traumatised young people, we try to enable them to rediscover the sense of basic trust needed for them to move into adulthood with the freedom and responsibility that step entails.

[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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