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Disability Psychotherapy: An Innovative Approach to Trauma-Informed Care
Frankish, Patricia
Routledge / Karnac Books / Softcover / 2016-01-01 / 1782203168
Trauma / Disability Studies
reg price: $43.50 our price: $ 36.98 (may be subject to change)
176 pages
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This book has been over twenty years in the making. It stems from an even longer history of experience with people who have disabilities and additional distress as a result of traumatic life experiences, and is an important contribution to our understanding of the world of disability and emotional deprivation.

People with disabilities have suffered discrimination and neglect of their emotional needs, perhaps because the pain of difference cannot be tolerated, perhaps because of lack of will or lack of knowledge. Much has been written about cognitive development in those who are cognitively impaired. Much is written about attachment for people who don’t have disabilities. An attempt is made here to bring together what we know about early emotional development and the consequences of failure to provide an emotionally nurturing experience. This is then applied to people with disabilities. The evidence points to the possibility of effective interventions to correct the damage and this must be worthwhile. With the correct intervention, individuals can be saved from incarceration in secure units and have a much improved quality of life.

This book helps to fill the knowledge gap and to encourage others to overcome their resistance to facing the pain. There are ways of working that help, and when appropriately targeted, make a huge difference to some very complex and distressed lives.


"Patricia Frankish has been developing a way of providing psychotherapy to people who have intellectual and development disabilities for over thirty years. In this book she brings together the influences that have shaped her approach and the model she has arrived at. The most significant influences in her work have been psychoanalytic thinkers and developmental practitioners, notably Bowlby, Winnicott and Mahler. She illustrates the applicability and usefulness of these models in providing a psychotherapeutically-informed approach to helping and supporting people who have disabilities. When the author started this work in the 1980s she was working against the perceived wisdom of the psychoanalytic schools which then, as now, struggle with disability issues. However, along with others, she has had to work outside of them and became a key player in the formation of the Institute for Psychotherapy and Disability. Her model and approach is not just about individual psychotherapy but also about working with systems. She has also long argued for the recognition of trauma as a key issue in the lives of people who have disabilities and it is no surprise that her approach is trauma-informed."
- Professor Nigel Beail, Professional Lead for Psychological Services, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust; Professor of Psychology , University of Sheffield

"This is a very long-awaited book. Dr Patricia Frankish has not only been a disability therapy pioneer, but also a key theoretician, clinician, organiser, strategic thinker, teacher, presenter and researcher. She has created the only psychotherapy disability training in the UK and provides bespoke specialist residential care for those no-one else can treat. It will be no surprise for readers to realise that some of Patricia’s knowledge comes from her lived experience of parents living and working in a 'mental' hospital. Whilst she helpfully and generously educates us as to her main theoretical influences, it is her personal application of Margaret Mahler’s theories that have provided the disability field with the greatest tools. This book is clear, accessible, seminal and rich with lived experience."
- Valerie Sinason, President of the Institute of Psychotherapy and Disability, and editor of Trauma, Dissociation, and Multiplicity

Table of Contents:

About the Author

1) Winnicott
2) Bowlby
3) Margaret Mahler
4) Measuring the emotional development of intellectually disabled adults
5) Other influences
6) Designing interventions
7) The house-tree-person test
8) Using the object relations technique with people with intellectual disabilities
9) Comprehensive assessment of the individual
10) Evaluation of the impact of the systemic model of trauma-informed care
11) Evaluation of the impact of individual psychotherapy
12) Comparison with other therapeutic models
13) Future use of the model


About the Author:

Patricia Frankish is a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist with many years of experience in the field of disability. Her doctoral study established a method for measuring emotional developmental stages in people who had suffered trauma and consequent interference in the developmental process. She is from Lincolnshire and after working in a range of settings and spending six years in North Yorkshire and Teesside, she has settled back in Lincolnshire with her own business in partnership with her daughter. They specialize in providing services for people with complex needs, using the model that Pat has developed. They offer direct support, training, and therapy, either as a package or one component. For those who need it they also provide accommodation. Pat has been President of the British Psychological Society, was a founding member of the Institute of Psychotherapy and Disability, and is an active member of her local Church and community.

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Caversham 2016 Catalogue Titles
Disability Studies
E - Trauma 2016
Karnac Books
Taylor and Francis