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Out of the Mainstream identifies those aspects of mental illness which can compromise parenting and affect children's development, as well as the efforts of professionals to intervene effectively. With chapters from professionals working primarily with children or adults, in different agencies and in specialist teams or in the community, the book illustrates the ways in which the needs of mentally ill parents and their children can be understood. The book outlines different theoretical approaches which may be in use alongside each other, including: A systems theory approach to work with families and with agencies; The psychoanalytic understanding of mental illness and its impact on family relationships and organisations; An educational approach to supporting staff, children and parents; A psychiatric or bio-medical model of work Out of the Mainstream considers how the diverse groups of agencies, specialist teams and groups in the community can work together, even when many barriers may hinder the effective co- working between individuals and these various groups. It will be an invaluable resource for psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, health visitors, mental health nurses, teachers and voluntary sector agency staff.
Rosemary Loshak is a social worker and a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. She was formerly Coordinator for children in families with mental illness in Tower Hamlets, London.