ABSTRACT

This chapter explores the positions made available for their readers and, in particular, deals with their more and less comfortable features. It has an explicit address to psychotherapists, who after all as professional carers who treat the relationships they form as the medium for change have a responsibility to understand the dynamics of imaginary relationships surrounding children, and of the desire to help. The chapter focuses on a wider systematic study that is elsewhere discussed in terms of methodological precepts; in relation to the representation of gender; and as specifically applied to contexts of humanitarian disaster relief. It reviews how the motif of the child, as the signifier of ‘need’, has generated widespread criticism. It connects the private and individual world of psychotherapy with general cultural-political discourses and practices around children and childhood.