Love the Wild Swan:

This collection of papers published in Routledge's World Mental Health Series is the fruit of thirty years of clinical and teaching experience, undertaken by a child and adolescent psychotherapist who has been internationally published. It consists of a selection of work previously published in various journals, in four sections, with new material and introductions added to each section.

It charts the journey of one clinician working with children and adolescents, from observation, via clinical work to teaching, linking too with ongoing life in the form of the arts, which throw light on our inner worlds. The observation section ranges from the work of Darwin to our present day practice, discussing how the work of observing a baby may impact on those not intending to become clinicians. The clinical chapters which follow this include descriptions of autistic features, the intricacies of the adoption process, and of being raised in a single parent family. The theory section unpacks ideas around how we digest what we are 'taught', how received ideas may need to be revisited, and how the memories from our own lives may impact on what we do. The final section links these concerns with the arts, via poetry, film and sculpture, as we proceed along the path of genuine growth.

It's a journey that every clinician and every human being too makes, and by describing one person's progress the book aims to offer an example of how the evolution of meanings occurs, if we are authentically present to each moment in our lives and to the lives of those we meet along the way. Lifelong learning takes place, about the self and the other. This book will be of interest to practitioners and clinicians, but also to anyone who wishes to reflect on the nature of human development, from the cradle to the grave.


'Like the Wild Swan glides, Judith Edwards' writing flows with great elegance. Her wide ranging cultural interests combine with her clinical acumen, to open new ways of thinking. This book is a really interesting read, both for those in the profession, and beyond.'
Irma Brenman Pick, Distinguished Fellow and Child and Adult Psychoanalyst BPAS

'Judith Edwards is a Child Psychotherapist with wide-ranging interests and expertise. She has a special gift for appreciating and exploring the interconnections of clinical psychoanalytic practice with the arts.

This impressive and scholarly volume includes some original contributions to vital topics within child psychotherapy, including work on the complexities of adoption, and chapters on psychoanalytic observation and theory and the challenges of teaching both in a spirit of enquiry. The breadth of her knowledge of literature,especially poetry, and film makes the section offering readings of individual works of art a pleasure to read. She writes with clarity and grace, which will enable her readers to engage in ideas arising from diverse fields of knowledge and culture with enjoyment. This is a book to open minds in many different directions and to interest many people.'

Margaret Rustin, former Head of Child Psychotherapy Training at the Tavistock Clinic

'This is a wise and wonderful book of 'twisted tales', beautifully calibrated by reference to personal, clinical and cultural life. Coming to know oneself through memoir is the solid and steady background of it all – the intensity of trying to expose and explore the self in the course of psychoanalytically based training and teaching across the life cycle, especially during childhood.

Judith Edwards' writing offers a breadth and depth of reference that is both accessible and utterly refreshing. Beneath these lovely pages there lies, fundamentally, a focus on meaning – what does something really mean to someone? How does one gain access to that? Sorting it out, significantly through the quality and capacities for observation, both of self and other, makes genuine growth possible. Love the Wild Swan gives us an informed and moving contribution to this process'

Margot Waddell, Fellow of the Institute of Psychoanalysis, former consultant child and adolescent psychotherapist, and author of 'Inside Lives'.




One reader's report:

"What I can say is that I have read (and probably commented on most of) all of Judith's papers, and think they are beautifully written, wise, scholarly without ever being boring, ORIGINAL, and very interesting, and I'm sure the book will interest a great many people from a wide range. of fields. She has a great gift for widening people's horizons and I really look forward to reading it."

Report from someone reading the book:

'At the moment I am completely absorbed in LOVE THE WILD SWAN which is so wonderful and illuminating and a true treasure'.