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Dr Andrew West is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist in the National Health Service. The degree, in which he achieved a ‘first’ was a BA in Natural Sciences with a Part1a in Law. By that stage he had still not studied Anatomy which he did in Leeds, never getting to study the foot which he presumes to this day is much like a hand, twisted round and placed on the floor.
He works in a generic Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service where he bemoans the gradual loss of multidisciplinary and reflective practice. At some point this moaning will become more toxic than useful, humour will no longer have the upper hand, and he will have to withdraw for the sake of others. He is a mentor, trainer, and supervisor within the NHS. He has a special interest in the interface between physical and emotional ailments. Indeed, he has an interest in almost any interface. A major research (as well as personal) interest has been fathering and he collaborated with the Families, Children and Child Care study in London and Oxford. More recently he has become a Project Partner with the Collaborating Centre For Values Based Practice at Saint Catherine’s College, Oxford, where he is currently exploring the nature of ‘evidence’ with a cross-disciplinary group.
Andrew has written all his life, but like his music, his writing has had to fit between learning, growing, studying, parenting and clinical work. A diverse list of publications is posted on his blog Therapeutic Attitude. For Andrew, professionalism is, before and after everything else, an interpersonal relationship and he was able, recently, to pitch this passionately in Being With and Saying Goodbye. Cultivating Therapeutic Attitude in Professional Practice. A reflection on the process of writing this book has been posted on the Karcacology Blog and confirms what Andrew has been told, namely that his writing rewards careful, and sometimes repeated, reading. He tweets under @afwesty