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Bower, M. (2013). Personal View. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 3(1):1-2.

(2013). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 3(1):1-2

Personal View

Marion Bower

Despite the inclusive title of this Journal, it seems to me that those who work with couples are much better supported with training courses and opportunities for continuing professional development than those of us who work with families. These courses do not only confer legitimacy, they also provide an environment where theory can be developed as well as disseminated. In my experience, Kleinian and post-Kleinian theory is particularly well suited to working with and understanding families. In fact, without Klein's concept of projective identification, there would be no way of understanding families using any model. However, Kleinian theory can arouse fear and resistance in those who are not familiar with it.

In September 2012, I went to give a paper at a conference on “Feral children or failed children: trauma, alienation and antisocial behaviour”. I decided to take a family therapy approach and talk about “Gang families—is there a way out?” The families I was thinking about have chronic long-term problems, physical or sexual abuse, mental illness, drug and alcohol problems, and delinquency. They are the staples of social workers' caseloads and often known to the police and other agencies. This type of family is, however, not just located among the poor or deprived members of society; they exist among the wealthier classes as well. In this case the professional personnel are different. They include nannies, private doctors, and public schools.

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