Peter Oakes, What’s love got to do with it? Long-term support and love by paid staff in psychological health and wellbeing services.

At the Annual General Meeting of the Psychotherapy Section of the British Psychological Society back in 1995, David Smail drew on his earlier publications and suggested that:
“One of the principal things, and sometimes the only thing, psychotherapy – even good psychotherapy – offers its clients is a commodity which is not widely or plentifully available elsewhere: that is, love.” (Smail, 1995, p 1)
In this presentation, we seek to consider whether an acknowledgement of the primacy of relationship and specifically, love, might enhance our understanding and delivery of services for people – especially people who, as a result of old age, long term mental health need or disability, require the long term support and love of paid staff.


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