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Lanyado, M. (2019). Repair and legacy: the ‘grandparental’ role in today’s kinship care families, and beyond. J. Child Psychother., 45(3):308-322.

(2019). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 45(3):308-322

Repair and legacy: the ‘grandparental’ role in today’s kinship care families, and beyond

Monica Lanyado

Grandparents have always had a significant role in family life. Examples from a particular group of kinship care grandparents who try to repair the repercussions of severely abusive behaviour by their own children towards their children’s children, is examined through vignettes gathered by myself, as the therapists’ clinical supervisor. All of the grandchildren were removed from their abusive parents’ care by the courts, and were legally placed to live with the grandparents as kinship carers. The paper explores the motivation behind the grandparents’ devotion and commitment and describes how the grandchildren as well as the grandparents can benefit from psychotherapy. The more general process of maturing with age is discussed in this context, and the resulting benefits in relationships with the younger generation considered. Links are made to the process of supervision in the psychotherapy profession and how this way of transmitting knowledge becomes part of the psychoanalytic legacy of our teachers.

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