ACP Annual Conference

The 2020 ACP Annual Conference has been postponed until June 2021

Modern Families: Work and Thinking about Neglected and Vulnerable Children, Parents and Families

Date: Friday 26 and Saturday 27 June 2020

Venue: The Professor Stuart Hall Building, University of London Goldsmiths College, 80 Lewisham Way, London SE14 6NW

It has been over two decades since the ACP annual conference has focused specifically on work with families. There have been major changes in society since then and certainly many since the ACP came into being in 1949. Has our understanding kept pace with change? How can we ensure our clinical expertise addresses the needs of children and families in the contemporary world in which we live, in our local and overarching social and political contexts?

About the conference

The 2020 theme has the potential to explore, develop and showcase some of the clinical work and thinking of CAPTs today, and the service models we are using. To do this for ourselves across the profession and to our colleagues in the multidisciplinary networks with whom we closely work. This might include policy makers and commissioners, whose work and decision making is so intimately bound up in what we can provide, how, and for whom.

With this conference we have an opportunity to deepen our clinical and contextual understanding of these significant and urgent issues and to explore the world of contemporary child and family development at a time of great challenge for ourselves and for those we work with.

As a profession we are having to think about the impact on families and children of demands to meet the growing need for mental health services and the, at times extreme, pressure, on services to meet those needs. However, CAPTs do continue to undertake a rich wealth of sound and highly effective work with very vulnerable families. We are proving successful in bringing the relevance and efficacy of our work to the forefront of thinking by policy makers and commissioners and we are ensuring a place for the specific relevance of our psychoanalytic psychotherapeutic work within modern mental health services for the twenty-first century  with all its complexity and variation.

We would very much like to hear from and think with our membership about the work CAPTs are doing in different settings and services, in statutory services, the charitable sector and in independent practice, from trainees and from qualified CAPTS.

There are now many different experiences of family life and partnerships, including mixed  heritage families, separated and fragmented families, families with parental conflict, kinship care families,  adoptive families, highly complex foster families, families where children have been conceived in medically assisted ways, families where a parent or child has changed or is changing gender to name but a few.

There are now more families and parents from other countries, cultures and faiths presenting to services than in the past. CAPTs are now working clinically with children, parents, siblings, families, couples and organisations in a wide variety of ways and contexts:

  • How does child psychotherapy conceive of these changes? What are the models of work we use?
  • How do we take account of work with families whose cultural models of family life are distinct from our own?  
  • How does the variety and complexities of family life intersect with growing social issues in wider society? 
  • How do existing theories of child and adolescent development, parental coupling and experiences, and family life relate to the variety of contemporary experiences of family life?
  • Do we need to rethink some of our conceptual models?
  • What research questions could we be pursuing in order to examine and illuminate contemporary family life?

Thanks to the London Organising Committee: Marie Bradley, Simon Cregeen, Alison Roy, Deirdre Dowling, Alexandra de Rementaria, Nick Waggett and Jan Steel

The call for papers is now closed