Monica Lanyado

Transforming Despair to Hope: how to help traumatised children. Legacy interview with MINDinMIND

For 50 years child and adolescent psychotherapist, Monica Lanyado, has been focussed on how to best treat traumatised children.  

In this legacy interview you can hear what she believes best helps these children, a motivation which has fuelled much of her working life. As anyone who has worked with traumatised children will know, this work is at times harrowing, despairing and exhausting, making demands on us that at times feel unstainable, and yet she says that when sufficient hope cannot be maintained it is not possible to carry on the work. Jane O’Rourke asked her why….  

You can also watch the video interview

Monica trained at the Tavistock Clinic under the auspices of Mattie Harris who then ran the child psychotherapy training, alongside other notable names such as Isca Wittenberg, Isobel Menzies- Leith and Frances Tustin. And yet after a training which primarily focussed on the theories of Melanie Klein, she began to forge her own theoretical pathway, drawing on a diverse range of psychoanalytical thinkers. After only 6 yrs following qualification, she set up a new child psychotherapy training at the Scottish Institute of Human Relations. A succession of books and papers focussing on the treatment of traumatised children have flowed over the years, including the invaluable, ‘Handbook of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy’ and most recently ‘Transforming Despair to Hope’. Monica is also a supervisor for the child psychotherapy training at the British Psychotherapy Foundation. 

Each week we are adding more interviews and research from leading thinkers and innovators sharing what their experience has taught them about children’s minds and psychological issues such as anxiety, trauma and depression and how families can cope with these times of extreme challenge. Now more than ever, all of us working with children need the wisest minds to guide us. Everyone featured here have spent their clinical lives honing their understanding of child and family life.

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