Nr 18.  2008 sid. 103–109

Clinically Based Research
at the Erica Foundation

Gunnar Carlberg


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     At the Erica Foundation in Stockholm a long tradition of clinically based research can be described. In this short annotation examples from different current and forthcoming projects are presented. Gunnar Carlberg is the Director of the Foundation.

The aim of this short annotation is to give an overview of current research activities at the Erica Foundation. Firstly a few words about the Foundation.

The Erica Foundation

The Erica Foundation has been commissioned by the Swedish government and Stockholm County Council to run university level training in child and adolescent psychotherapy and to provide psychotherapeutic treatment for children, adolescents and their families. Training and clinical activities are integrated with research and method development work.

The work of the Foundation is based on psychodynamic theory, developmental psychology research, psychotherapy research as well as clinical experience. A common ethical guideline is the importance of emphasizing the children’s, adolescents’ and parents’ perspective. The staff includes physicians, psychologists, qualified psychiatric social workers, and special education teachers representing a spectrum of specialists within child and adolescent psychiatry, psychotherapy, education and research.

Tradition of clinically based research

The Erica Foundation was founded 1934. The ambition already at that time was to document experiences from treatments, in order to develop methods and to be able to spread experiences. The gathering of clinical work, training of psychotherapists and developmental work in the same organisation has been good soil for clinically based research.

Today you can find a spectrum of publications describing stories from inside the psychotherapist’s room (Cleve, 2004, 2008), articles describing different aspects of psychotherapy with children and parents (Blomberg, 2006; Nilsson, 2000, 2006) and research with a qualitative approach (Carlberg 1997; 1999) as well as quantitative methods (Andersson, Boalt Boëethius, Svirsky, & Carlberg, 2006). Publications documenting clinical work are still a common ground for studies in praxis.

Story from inside the child therapist’s room

The latest book by Elisabeth Cleve (2008) can be given as an example of how documenting clinical work can be of value. In A Big and a Little One is Gone: Crisis Therapy with a Two-Year-Old Boy she describes a child’s many moods of expressions and how these can be met by the sensible psychotherapist. Monica Lanyado says in the Preface of the book: ‘[It] is a study in childhood bereavement as well as a valuable account of the kind of psychoanalytically informed brief therapy that can be highly effective when offered in a timely, well-supported and carefully thought out way.’

Studies of turning points

Four studies of ‘turning points’ in child psychotherapy (Carlberg, 1997, 1999) are examples of what can be called focused systematic case studies (Carlberg, 2008a). In this case, data from crucial, data-rich episodes in several child psychotherapies have been systematically collected by the same techniques to make comparisons possible.




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