ACP supports Time to Talk Day

Never before has it been so important to talk - and keep talking - about mental health issues and how it affects us, our families, work and relationships.

The ACP is supporting this year's Time to Talk Day (Thursday 4 February), a campaign whose overiding message is let's get the nation talking about mental health to help end the misconceptions around it.

Organised by Time to Change, an initiative led by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, Time to Talk Day aims to get as many people as possible across England talking about mental health. By joining together on one day it is hoped the silence that often surrounds mental health will be broken and it will show that talking about this once-taboo issue does not need to be difficult.

As child psychotherapists working with children, parents and families it is crucial that we work to tackle the stigma around mental health issues particularly where young people are concerned.

A new book, written by ACP members Dilys Daws and Alexandra de Rementeria, explores the often turbulent emotional life of a baby and its parents in the first year and in doing so highlights the importance of psychoanalytic psychotherapy in talking therapies.

Dilys Daws, co-author of Finding Your Way with Your Baby, says the book was written to help give parents access to psychoanalytic ideas and offers a pathway for people to reflect on and sort out problems themselves. It also however tells them that therapeutic help exists for when more serious problems arise.

The book explores the emotional experience of a baby in the first year and does so in a way that is deeply informed by psychoanalytic understandings, infant observation, developmental science and decades of clinical experience.

The authors engage with the most difficult emotional experiences that are often glossed over in parenting books such as depression and the emotional turmoil so often brought to the surface by being a new parent. It is this acknowledgment and understanding about this darker side of family life that offers a sense of relief that allows parents to harness the power of knowing, owning and sharing feelings to transform situations and break negative cycles.

Child psychotherapist Danny Goldberger, who recently reviewed this book, says: "Some parents might find the honesty of this book difficult to manage. As in psychoanalytic work, difficult experiences are raised and the ambivalence and negative side of parenting is highlighted. In focusing on some of the mixed feelings, the book makes plain that these are an important part of parenting and of life and that to ignore or avoid them is perhaps more harmful than finding ways to acknowledge and address them."

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