Grandparents’ Relationships with their Grandchildren: implications for therapy A one-day workshop with Professor Ann Buchanan London, 26 January 2018 (Friday) 10:00am - 4:00pm
All around the world, family networks are changing from broad / horizontal to narrow / vertical structures or beanpole families, in which grandparents have an increasingly significant role to play (Hagestad). In addition, recent research on intergenerational relations has shown strong associations between the extent of grandparental involvement and the developmental well-being of individuals. These dynamics can create challenges for therapists when, for example, the parent coming to the clinic may not indeed be the parent doing the parenting. Alternatively, we may be seeing clients who may no longer be able to live safely with a parent, having suffered trauma, abuse or neglect, and are being cared for by grandparents. At this practical and interactive workshop that would be relevant for psychotherapists, clinical psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, Professor Ann Buchanan will use a perspective based on attachment theory and developmental tenets to consider implications for our clinical practices. Using case vignettes and practical examples, we consider: Changing societal norms and the emergence of the grandparent army The need to think beyond the immediate parents and incorporate the role of grandparents in our therapeutic interactions How this understanding influences the way we think about families and respond to their therapeutic needs The particular challenges that kinship carers face Good guys, bad guys. Helpful and unhelpful relationships Attachment dynamics of grandparental involvement Outcomes for individuals who have suffered severe abuse and neglect Ann will not only present material based on published evidence; but also, use group discussion and clinical case vignettes as part of the workshop. About the speaker Professor Ann Buchanan, MBE, FAcSS, Ph.D., MA (Oxon), CQSW, has spent more than 20 years studying the impact of family relations on child well-being. For many years she directed the Centre for Research into Parenting and Children at the University of Oxford. Before becoming an academic she spent 10 years in an inner urban clinic as a Child psychiatric social worker. At Oxford, her evidence-based research into parenting, fathering, grandparenting and divorce has both a national and international profile. She has been invited to talk about her work at centres around the world. In 2016, she edited a book on Grandfathers which was nominated for a British Academy Peter Townsend award. In 2012, she was awarded an MBE for her contribution to social science. Workshop Schedule 9:45AM: Registration 10:00AM: Session 1: The grandparent relationship In this first session we explore: Formal and informal grandparental care of grandchildren The association between grandparents’ involvement and child well-being The ‘new’ grandfather Children’s views and factors associated with a ‘close relationship’ with grandchildren 11:45AM: Session 2: Kinship care Kinship and Family care – the special challenges Outcomes for children in kinship care Viability assessments 1:00PM: Lunch (a light lunch is provided as part of the workshop) 2:00PM: Session 3: Psychotherapeutic implications Our third session of the day builds on and continues the theoretical bases considered so far and illustrates practical therapeutic implications for practitioners. Clinical vignettes will be discussed here. Specifically, we consider: Risk and protective factors What are the particular challenges of this family? How would you respond? 3:15PM: Session 4: Group reflection In the concluding session of the day, Professor Buchanan will invite participants to reflect on the day’s discussions and how these link with their experience as therapists. 4:00PM: Close

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