A child's perspective on divorce

New evidence on how children are encouraged to discuss their own experiences of divorce will be presented at an inaugural lecture at the University of Leicester.

Professor of Sociology Ian Hutchby's research represents the first time a social scientist has looked in detailed terms at what happens in the course of specialist child counselling sessions.

'The Incitement to Communicate: Professional Vision and Discourse Practice in Child Counselling' is an Inaugural Lecture by Professor Ian Hutchby on 17 February 2009. It is free and open to the public and will be held in Lecture Theatre 1, Ken Edwards Building, starting at 5.30pm.

In this lecture Professor Hutchby discusses his research on the language of child counselling aimed at young children who are experiencing parental separation or divorce.

Professor Hutchby studied tape recordings of the work conducted in a family mediation practice in England, carried out with the informed consent of parents and children.

He said: "The research offers a unique look inside the doors of the child counselling room at what actually goes on there.

"It reveals new insights into the nature of counsellors' work, as they grapple with the ways children often withdraw and resist the encouragement to 'communicate' about their feelings. It also highlights the difficulties and challenges children face when interacting in these professional dialogues."

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