chapter  13
14 Pages

Work with parents

ByMARGARET RUSTIN

The context for thinking about the range of work done by child psychotherapists with parents has changed greatly since the ®rst edition of this handbook was published in 1999. This is particularly the case with respect to work done within NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and other publicly funded settings providing family support. The full implications of the many changes in public policy and the changing shape of services continue to be worked out, but it is striking that public and governmental preoccupation with parenting is at a consistently high level. For example, commissioners of child and adolescent mental health services are expected to develop a `parenting strategy' and to plan services accordingly. If we turn to the evidence provided by column inches in the press and the numbers of television programmes about parenting, we are confronted by a very high level of anxiety, a signi®cant tendency to blame parents, and an emphasis on the need to educate and support parents in their responsibilities.