International Centre News June 2020

A warm welcome to our June newsletter. Living through the unprecedented experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on all aspects of our society. Like NHS staff, residential care workers and foster carers as ‘essential workers’, have had to maintain a duty of care for some of our societies most vulnerable and emotionally damaged children and young people. This edition of the TCJ shares experiences of the pandemic from a range of perspectives.

For many the lockdown has created new challenges in managing complex behaviours with no respite, but has also provided creative opportunities to explore a new sense of ‘close in’ relational work. Social care consultant John Burton reflects on managing such behaviours, in his short but concise piece ‘Love and hate, attachment, attack and rejection,’ he reminds us that the difficult behaviours of adolescents are often a reflection of earlier uncontained childhood experiences.

Jade MacRury is a content writer and correspondent for the Immigration Advice Service, an organisation of immigration lawyers. Her article ‘COVID-19 intensifies the struggle of asylum seekers,’ reminds us that it is the poorest and most vulnerable groups in society that are at risk of being most adversely affected by the CV outbreak.

This theme is picked up again in the first of his regular articles ‘The truth of the matter’ in which Keith White offers a powerful global and personal perspective of the impact of COVID-19 on children and young people. His second piece ‘Being alone’ offers reflections on the psychological meaning of this, within the current context of ‘self isolation’ and ‘social distancing’.

Nicky Hilton, Senior Archivist at the MB3 Planned Environment Archives provides us with two articles for lockdown reading. Her first is about the new online catalogue of therapeutic community history that the PET Archives have recently launched, with fascinating oral history links to the work of Bertrand Mantelbrote, and Barbara Dockar-Drysdale, who respectively founded the Ley community and The Mulberry Bush School, both in Oxfordshire. Nicky’s second piece ‘from the Archives’ is – ‘People need people’ by Harry Wilmer, an original article about a Therapeutic Community within a U.S. Navy Psychiatric Hospital.

Although it is not represented in this edition, I want to acknowledge the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the adult social care home sector, which due to a very susceptible population, has borne the brunt of virus related deaths. Our thoughts and support go out to all adult social care workers and families who have been affected by these exceptionally difficult circumstances.

We hope to run a second edition about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on therapeutic services in our next August 1st edition, so please do continue to send us your papers.

Take care and stay safe

John Diamond

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