Child psychotherapy with children who are medicated for ADHD : discourse, power and interdisciplinary practice

Peter, Sarah (2017) Child psychotherapy with children who are medicated for ADHD : discourse, power and interdisciplinary practice. Doctoral thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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Abstract

This study empirically investigated the under-explored practice of combining psychoanalytic psychotherapy with medication in the treatment of children diagnosed with ADHD. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six child psychotherapists who had provided psychoanalytic treatment to children medicated for ADHD. The data were analysed thematically and discursively, paying attention to the social and performative functions of language in interaction. The interview material was characterised by double messages of explicit support for and implicit resistance to the practice of combining medication and psychotherapy, thus suggesting that the metaphorical ‘marriage’ of psychoanalytic and psychiatric practice was only superficially well-functioning. This was expressed through three interpretative repertoires – A marriage of convenience, Separate lives, and For the sake of the children – which were employed by participants to negotiate differential power relations and attributions of blame in the field of ADHD. The study found: 1. An unacknowledged paradigm clash between psychoanalytic and medical models of ADHD 2. A dissonance between a proclaimed complementarity between psychoanalytic and psychopharmacological interventions, and an absence of mutually enriching collaboration in practice 3. Psychotherapists appear to be ambivalent and only superficially accepting of and compliant with the medical model of ADHD These findings add to the existing literature by highlighting the challenges of a multi-perspective approach in this contested area. Suggestions are made for practical action aiming to foster open interdisciplinary exchange and debate, and broader public and professional dialogues about ADHD.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
School/Department: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: ORBIT Editor
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2017 17:19
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2017 17:19
URI: http://bbktheses.da.ulcc.ac.uk/id/eprint/253

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