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Politics and emotion in work with disadvantaged children : case studies in consultation from a South African clinic

University of Cape Town
Publication Date
  • Psychology
  • Political Science
  • Psychology


This thesis explores the social and psychological dynamics of consultation partnerships established between a psychological clinic and a variety of children's organisations. The research aims to develop a deeper understanding of the process of consultation by making visible the emotional and political complexities involved. This kind of work is usually informed by the broad principles of community psychology and carries a concern with the broader political context of mental health. Typically, however, this approach gives less consideration to the emotional dynamics of this kind of community work and the subtle forms in which they might appear during the intervention. In this research, the concepts of community consultation are expanded through psychoanalytic theories of group, organisational and social processes.

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