Phillip McGill

Joint course lead for Child and adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapy (M80)

Phillip is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and an honorary member of the Tavistock Fostering, Adoption and Kinship Care team.  He is Joint Head of Child Psychotherapy Training and Co-Course Lead for the Child and adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapy (M80) doctorate.

Phillip trained as a social worker and worked with children and families in Scotland and London before retraining in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy at the Tavistock.  He has been the manager of the Tavistock Fostering, Adoption and Kinship Care team and the Course Lead for ‘Working with Children, Young People and Families, a psychoanalytic observational approach’ (M7).  He is particularly interested in the theory of psychoanalysis and the relationship between psychoanalysis, personal identity and difference. 

“Being a children’s social worker brought me face-to-face with very difficult and distressing experiences and I was at a loss to know how to be helpful. Even when things did go well it was very challenging to try to learn from what was happening. In my role within the multidisciplinary Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) team I thought that the psychoanalytical understanding and the work of my child psychotherapists colleagues was fascinating and I wanted to learn from them.

“There are many reasons I chose psychotherapy. My professional reason was because I found my child psychotherapy colleagues could help me to understand not just what might have happened to a child, in a cause-and-effect way, but how aspects of that experience continued to live inside the child, to inform the world they lived in. On a more personal level I chose to train in child psychotherapy to challenge myself; it was an opportunity to seize an opportunity to be myself.

“There have been many challenges and I expect there will be many more. I have however been lucky enough, through my training and its component personal analysis, to have found a way of trusting in talking and thinking with other people about our difficulties. This helps often enough to give me a strong sense that I am not on my own with the problems.

“I find the Tavistock to be a very stimulating environment where I am encouraged to continue to develop. Teaching gives me a unique opportunity to work with students and teachers and be involved in promoting the kinds of learning that I have found so useful for myself.”

Phillip McGill