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Research

A psychosocial exploration of the lifelong impact of being in care as a child and resilience over a life span.

Research methods combined a life span approach to explore the lived
experience pre-care, in-care and post-care, in combination with a grounded
theory approach to integrate the participants’ constructions of their resilience
with the data. A psycho-social approach was utilised to address current
deficits such as perceiving the environment and the individual as largely
separate spheres, which created the ability to move beyond this separation
and to look at the ways in which the internal and external worlds constantly
affect each other. Employing psychoanalytic theory around trauma in the
analysis facilitated a deeper understanding of how individuals manage
traumatic experience.

 

To read my doctoral thesis click here

Publications

Negotiating the Faustian pact: A psycho-social approach to working with mixed-race people.

In my chapter for the book Black Identities White Therapies - I wrote about working with mixed race clients who are navigating a binary world, how complex this is, and what might be supportive. 'When mixed race people arrive at a place where they want to embrace their mixed heritage another dilemma begins. If they don’t want to be allied to either Black or white, when the price of admission is to give up half of their identity, they find themselves in a whole other new dimension: ‘no man’s land’. This concept originates from them being asked - where do you come from? Their reply is usually – “my mother comes from X and my father from Y.”

 

 

 

Reflections on resilience: a psycho-social exploration of the life long impact of having been in care during childhood

Previous studies of adults who grew up in care as children show that they are over-represented in the homeless population, the mental health system, the prison population and substance abuse. However there are other adults who grew up in care who achieve educationally and in terms of careers, relationships and parenting. A qualitative study that allowed participants to narrate their own experiences and to reflect over a life span was employed, to explore the impact of growing up in care and resilience. A multi-theoretical approach facilitated comprehension of the complexities of how people's lives change and how concepts of what hinders or helps are too simplistic. It also moved understanding beyond a simple distinction between positive and negative adaptation and revealed that there is often a fluid boundary between the two.

 

Between black and white:
Therapy Today, April 2019 Volume 30 Issue 3

 

Yvon Guest explores the unique challenges faced by people of mixed race in our highly polarised society. When we talk about race in the counselling room, we often reduce complex interactions to simplified categories of black and white. Using my own lived experience of being a mixed-race woman and the history and politics of racism, I want to show how, in reality, there is a whole world that lies between black and white – a world where identities and interactions between and within racial groups are more nuanced.

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