To what extent do therapists in adult psychiatry involve the children of mentally ill patients?
Peer reviewed, Research report
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The aim and scope of this study was to examine to what extent the mentally ills’ therapists involve children. Nine therapists from the psychiatric policlinic at the hospital in Namsos, Norway were interviewed. The selection of interviewees was done in order to ensure representation across the complete range of professions involved. An interview guide consisting of 12 pertinent questions was developed and employed. The results show that the informants claimed there were no known procedures for exploring the children’s situation. All of the therapists reported that the sick parent(s) had brought up their personal concerns for their children in the course of treatment. Five of the informants confirmed that they had at times invited the children to participate in conversations with their parents. Only two of these had done this more than once. The explanation for why children are so seldom involved can be stringent environmental control factors, uncertainties, fear of generated increased workload, or of undertaking a more complex treatment process. Perhaps treatment in adult psychiatry is primarily focused on the mentally ill target person alone. It seems that it’s socially unacceptable to examine children’s circumstances in the course of treatment.
SeriesRapport / Høgskolen i Nord-Trøndelag