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The Letter, Issue 38, Autumn 2006, Pages 64 - 70


Mary Cullen

Good afternoon. I am delighted to be here to present this short paper and especially so in St. Vincent's Hospital, which has its own significant resonance for me being a hospital where my father worked at one stage in his life (the old one in St. Stephen's Green) and later where he died. I cannot claim responsibility for the title of my paper; it comes from the graffiti on the wall of the building where I work and I will return to it anon. I trained here in the School of Psychotherapy, starting the course sixteen years ago, and I am currently back in training in the same school doing the group analytic course feeling the need for some learning about groups and organizations. I originally trained as a social worker in the days when social-work training had a psychodynamic component. My job in the then Eastern Health Board was in the Fostering Resource Group where our work entailed the support of foster parents and young people in care. I learnt quickly that taking children into care from what was perceived to be a neglectful or abusive situation and placing them in what was considered to be a successful family did not always provide the happy intended outcome.

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