Julia Segal is a counsellor for people with physical illnesses and disabilities in London, UK

Children with Ill Parents

While working as a counsellor for Action and Research for Multiple Sclerosis, I became interested in the effects on children of having parents with MS.  John Simkins, Chief Executive of the Charity, was also interested because he felt he would have benefited from help with talking to his children about their mother’s MS.  At the ARMS Research Unit  I was able to offer counselling to around twenty five families and to write up the resulting observations, primarily for people with MS themselves and for members of their families, as:

Julia Segal and John Simkins   1993  My Mum Needs Me     Helping children with ill or disabled parents  Penguin Books

Unfortunately it did not sell well, and Penguins pulped nearly all the copies without telling us.  It is available on the second hand market.

We then rewrote it for professionals, and Jessica Kingsley publishes it as

Julia Segal and John Simkins. Helping children with ill or disabled parents; A guide for professionals.  Jessica Kingsley, London, September 1996     www.jkp.com

I also looked for an in-depth study of a child with an ill parent, and found it in Melanie Klein’s book, Narrative of a Child Analysis.  This is the paper I wrote:

Segal, J.C. 1998 The role of a parent’s illness in the emotional experience of a child: evidence from Klein’s Narrative of a Child Analysis.  Psychodynamic Counselling 4. Nov 1998. pp487-504      http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13533339808402525

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