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Gaining the trust of 'highly resistant' families: Insights from attachment theory and research

Shemmings, David, Shemmings, Yvonne, Cook, Alice (2012) Gaining the trust of 'highly resistant' families: Insights from attachment theory and research. Child and Family Social Work, 17 (2). pp. 130-137. ISSN 1356-7500. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2206.2012.00834.x) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2206.2012.00834.x

Abstract

Despite being a contested and imprecise notion, the term 'highly resistant families' has grown in usage over the past few years. It refers, at one end of a spectrum, to parents who have been falsely accused of maltreating a child and to violent, even dangerous individuals, at the other. To complicate matters, the notion of false or 'disguised' compliance describes some family members who may confuse practitioners by appearing to co-operate while merely going through the motions. Excluding parents who have been falsely accused, resistant or reluctant family members are likely to find considerable difficultly 'mentalizing'- a concept similar to empathy, derived from contemporary applications of attachment-based research - which we discuss in this paper. From an innovative study by Forrester etal., we note en passant that empathy was rarely observed when social workers were asked to enact a child protection referral in vignettes conducted by actors playing the role of parent. We summarize key neurobiological research underpinning pioneering new insights into empathy and mentalization, along with their implications for child protection social workers. We conclude by briefly outlining a promising mentalization-based intervention already proving to be effective with reluctant or resistant parents. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/j.1365-2206.2012.00834.x
Uncontrolled keywords: Attachment theory, Child abuse, Communication and child social work, Prevention of child abuse
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Mita Mondal
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2014 14:12 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 11:54 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/38450 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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