Relationships in a therapeutic context

Hyams-Ssekasi, Michelle and Rixon, Andrew (2014). Relationships in a therapeutic context. In: Cooper, Barry; Gordon, Jean and Rixon, Andrew eds. Best Practice with Children and Families: Critical Social Work Stories. London: Palgrave, pp. 52–63.



The importance of relationships in an overtly therapeutic context is widely accepted. However this does not necessarily mean we can assume that developing appropriate relationships is an easier task than in any other social work context. Neither can we take for granted the skills that are involved in engaging families in therapeutic work. This chapter focuses on the knowledge, skills and values that are central in the building and sustaining of relationships with both adults and children to support a family affected by sexual abuse. It concentrates on three key aspects of this case - the initial visit, direct work with the child, and subsequent work with the mother in the family.

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