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11:00 - 12:30


Standard £ 20.00
Students £ 15.00
bpf trainees £ 0.00

audiences with authors: mothers accused and abused: addressing complex psychological needs 

Telling stories Angela Foster (psychiatric social worker and psychoanalytic psychotherapist) & Jessica Collier (art psychotherapist)

Mothers who harm and, in some instances, kill their children are viewed as undeserving aberrations, vilified and marginalized in the press and abandoned once their children have been rescued. They rarely get to tell their stories yet these are women who, almost without exception, were neglected and abused during their own childhoods, and in perpetuating their neglect we protect ourselves from facing the generational problem in our midst. As James Baldwin wrote ‘Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.’

In this presentation, Angela Foster and Jessica Collier will talk about the challenges to therapists as they struggle to ‘face’ this problem and hear the stories. Angela will address some common themes: humiliation and shame; severe personality disorder and experience of repeated toxic relationships in which care and abuse are undifferentiated and Jessica, an art psychotherapist, will describe her work in a prison setting with a woman who had killed her child. Finally, Angela will highlight some of the ways in which this work is being carried forward.

The talks will be followed by an informal get together over sandwiches and refreshments so please stay after the event.

about the book

"Mothers Accused and Abused: Addressing Complex Psychological Needs" brings together stories about mothers who are accused of harming, and in some cases killing, their children, children who subsequently harm or kill others and the challenges to professionals who work with them.

Contributors consider the deeply rooted cycles of neglect and abuse manifested in the childhoods of mothers, who only come to our attention when their extreme distress is expressed through their actions. By recognising the long-standing, unmet dependency needs of abused and neglected women, the book argues that longer term engagement can prevent a seemingly endless repetition of court hearings and imprisonment, and thereby address cycles of neglect.

With sections on mothers in prison and interventions following child care proceedings, Mothers Accused and Abused will be a valuable resource to those working in the criminal and civil justice systems, social work and mental health as well as others who, in a professional or personal capacity, encounter troubled mothers and their children. 

This event qualifies for 1.5 CPD hours.

While the talk begins at 11am, the registration and coffee/tea start at 10.30am.


about the speaker

Angela Foster is a psychiatric social worker, a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, supervisor and consultant working with clinical teams and individuals in mental health, forensic, substance misuse and child care services. She has published many papers and co-edited a number of books.


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Standard £ 20.00
Students £ 15.00
bpf trainees £ 0.00