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Oclander, S. (1995). Brief Work with Children of Divorcing Parents. Psychoanal. Psychother., 9:59-72.

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(1995). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 9(1):59-72

Brief Work with Children of Divorcing Parents

Silvia Oclander

An account is given of the work of a group of child psychotherapists who offered their help on a short-term basis to children whose parents were separating or embarking upon a divorce. The aim was to offer help with the specific anxieties and concerns that the children were experiencing and provide them with understanding and an anchor when the world that they knew was changing and confusing them. A way of working evolved that was based on psychoanalytic work with children, in which we made use of the understanding of the transference process in short-term treatment. It was found that we had to consider help for the parents as well as the children, and a way of providing it was organised. The experience was rewarding and beneficial for the children.

The project had been undertaken as a pilot study, and was to have been the basis of further research, but was unfortunately interrupted before it reached that stage.

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