Dr. John Coleman, OBE
[Originally published in PETiTathon2015!]
John Coleman is one of the few people among us who - like Peter Holmes of Christ Church Deal, whose interview appeared yesterday (CLICK HERE) - has had the experience and privilege of establishing a therapeutic community: in John's case, Chalvington, in Sussex, archives from which are held at P.E.T.T.
In asking how people come into therapeutic work, war plays an interesting role. Peter bore the brunt of his father's traumatic experience of World War Two, and has had to make his way out of that. John, however, discovered his vocation - "I found this experience which I thought - this is really interesting - this is really what I want to do" - in the wake of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, working with troubled and troubling displaced youth in Austria.
John is a Clinical Psychologist, an academic, and a practitioner. In 1983 he founded the Sussex Youth Trust to explore ways and means of working effectively with troubled young people in Britain: He founded Chalvington, a residential therapeutic environment for disturbed and troubled teenagers. In 1989 he set up the Trust for the Study of Adolescence (now 'Young People in Focus'). Author, editor,consultant: his contribution to the field was recognised by the Queen in 1991 with an OBE.
How did he get here?
That is the subject of two interviews, the first recorded in September 1993, the second in November 1994. In the selections given here the emphasis is on that turning point in Austria, with a glimpse of that person in their own childhood and adolescence.
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PETiTathon2015! Day Two:
2.2b Oral History: Dr. John Coleman OBE, recorded 2 November 1994: Working with Refugees and Displaced Persons