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Psychoanalytic Thinking in Occupational Therapy: Symbolic, Relational and Transformative



Psychoanalytic Thinking in Occupational Therapy: Symbolic, Relational and Transformative

Lindsey Nicholls, Julie Cunningham-Piergrossi, Carolina de Sena-Gibertoni, Margaret Daniel

ISBN: 978-0-470-65586-3 February 2013 Wiley-Blackwell 256 Pages


Divided into three overarching themes, theory, application and research, this cutting edge book explores the influence of psychoanalytic theories on occupational therapy practice and thinking. It incorporates a new conceptual model (the MOVI) to guide practice, which uses psychoanalysis as a theoretical foundation for understanding therapeutic relationships and the ‘doing’ that takes place in clinical practice.

Using practice models and incorporating many clinically applied examples in different occupational therapy settings, this introductory text to psychoanalytic theory will appeal to students and practising clinical and academic occupational therapists worldwide and from different fields of practice from paediatrics and physical disability to older adult care and mental health. 

  • The first book in fifty years to concentrate entirely on a psychoanalytic approach to occupational therapy
  • Distills cutting edge theory into clinically relevant guidance
  • Features clinical examples throughout, showing the links between psychoanalytic theory and occupational therapy practice
  • Written by an experienced international team of authors

Foreword by Sheena Blair vii

Foreword by Paul Hoggett ix

Acknowledgements xi

1 Introduction 1

Section 1 Psychoanalytic Theory Interwoven with Occupational Therapy 13

2 The ‘Therapeutic Use of Self’ in Occupational Therapy 15

3 An Occupational Therapy Perspective on Freud, Klein and Bion 32

4 The Function of ‘Doing’ in the Intermediate Space: Donald Winnicott and Occupational Therapy 57

5 Beyond Bowlby: Exploring the Dynamics of Attachment 68

6 Re-awakening Psychoanalytic Thinking in Occupational Therapy: From Gail Fidler to Here 87

Section 2 Psychoanalytic Occupational Therapy: A Relational Practice Model and Illuminating Theory in Clinical Practice 103

7 MOVI: A Relational Model in Occupational Therapy 105

8 Let the Children Speak 128

9 Working with Difference 145

Section 3 Further Psychoanalytic Thinking: Research and Training 163

10 Psychoanalytic Thinking in Research 165

11 Understanding the Use of Emotional Content in Therapy Using Occupational Therapists’ Narratives 186

12 Training Experiences to Develop Psychoanalytic Thinking 202

13 The Relational Space of Supervision 222

Index 239

"This is a valuable book in stimulating our thinking around psychoanalytic theory and how this can be embraced into occupational therapy practice. It provides many references to seminal materials and the reader should explore these for a greater breadth of understanding."  (British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 1 April 2014)