After a first degree in philosophy, Sebastian Kraemer qualified in medicine in 1970. He trained in paediatrics in Glasgow, Manchester and London, then in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital and the Tavistock Clinic, London.


From 1980 he was a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist at the Tavistock Clinic (until 2003) and in the Paediatric department at the Whittington Hospital London (until 2015).


He is an honorary consultant at the Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust and continues to write, teach and work with staff in NHS and children's services, and as one of a team of family therapists in a GP practice.



Mental Health in Paediatrics

Who will have my tummy ache if I give it up?

Family Systems Medicine 1983; 1: 51-59 doi:10.1037/h0089641

‘The body goes mad’: Liaison Psychiatry in Sickle Cell Disease

in A Erskine & D Judd (eds), The Imaginative Body: Psychodynamic Therapy in Health Care 1994

Given up hope of dying

(with Annie Souter, first author) Child & Family Social Work 2004;
9: 259-264 doi:10.1111/j.1365-2206.2004.00333.x

‘The menace of psychiatry’: does it still ring a bell?

Archives of Disease in Childhood 2009; 94: 570-572 doi:10.1136/adc.2008.142851

Liaison and co-operation between paediatrics and mental health

Paediatrics and Child Health 2010; 20: 382-7 doi:10.1016/j.paed.2010.02.012

National guidance on paediatric mental health liaison


Paediatric psychology/mental health liaison: selected references


Liaison Citations: selected journal and book
extracts on paediatric mental health liaison


Parity of mental and physical child health in hospitals


The view from the bridge: bringing a third position to child health

in S Campbell, R Catchpole & D Morley (eds).
Child & Adolescent Mental Health: New Insights to Practice Palgrave Macmillan 2016

Descartes Lives. Commentary on NHS England Five Year Forward View


Paediatric mental health liaison: first principles and misunderstandings, 2017


From Spotlight to Floodlight: camouflaged mental processes in paediatrics, 2017


Deliberate self-poisoning by teenagers

Archives of Disease in Childhood 2019; 104: 728-9. doi:10.1136/archdischild-2018-314742

A foothold in paediatrics

in M. Waddell & S. Kraemer (eds)
The Tavistock Century: 2020 Vision Phoenix 2021

'No wrong door, no wrong question’: managing uncertainty in child health

Paediatric mental health liaison in 300 words

Family systems and the psychodynamics of therapeutic change

Leaving Home, and the adolescent family therapist

Journal of Adolescence 1982; 5: 51-62

A Note on Spinoza's Contribution to systemic therapy

Family Process 1982; 21: 353-357 doi:10.1111/j.1545-5300.1982.00353.x

Why worry, why now, what for? A pocket guide to systemic/strategic therapy

1986, minor revisions 2013

The promise of family therapy

British Journal of Psychotherapy 1994; 11: 32-45 doi:10.1111/j.1752-0118.1994.tb00700.x

Books reconsidered: Steps to an Ecology of Mind by Gregory Bateson

British Journal of Psychiatry 1993;163: 265-268

Tribal processes in psychotherapy: the stand off between psychoanalysis and systems

in P Nolan & I Säfvestad-Nolan (eds), Object Relations and Integrative Psychotherapy Whurr 2002

Systemic and family therapeutic approaches in psychiatry

Psychiatry 2002 1:3, 21-24

From system to psyche

(with Justin Schlicht, first author) in C Flaskas, B Mason & A Perlesz (eds)
The Space Between: Experience, Context, and Process in The Therapeutic Relationship, Karnac 2005

Something happens; elements of therapeutic change

Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 2006; 11: 239-248 doi:10.1177/1359104506061415

Where did that come from? Countertransference in family therapy

European Psychotherapy 2008; 8: 115-133

The art of the present tense


Varieties of Enmeshment


Narrative Matters: The Eternal Triangle – a century of family psychology for clinicians

Child and Adolescent Mental Health 2017; 22: 113–114 doi:10.1111/camh.12225

A richer system: a reflecting team in primary care

(with Hilary Graham, Rob Senior, Sue Dickie, Irene Bard & Mark Chan)
Context 2018; 160: 22-25

Medical training, practice and child psychiatry

Personal view

British Medical Journal 1971; 3: 179 doi:

Creating a space to supervise

Tavistock Gazette 1992; 34

On working together: dilemmas for trainers

Association of Child Psychology and Psychiatry Review and Newsletter 1994; 16: 120-9

Who needs child and adolescent psychiatrists?

Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 1999; 4: 121-127 doi:10.1177/1359104599004001010

Getting in touch: Reflections on Clinical Attentiveness

in C. Macaulay, P. Powell & C. Fertleman (eds), Learning from Paediatric Patient Journeys: What Children and their Families can tell us CRC Press, 2016

Dr Bowlby a psychiatrist for our times

Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 2021;15: 21- 35

Staff development, consultation
and group relations

‘The dangers of this atmosphere’: a Quaker
connection in the Tavistock Clinic’s development

History of the Human Sciences 2011; 24: 82-102 doi:10.1177/0952695111398570

Anxiety at the front line

in D. Armstrong & M. Rustin (eds), Social Defences against Anxiety: Explorations in a Paradigm
Karnac 2015

Learning from experience, 2016


Narrative Matters: Stop running and start thinking

Child and Adolescent Mental Health 2018; 23: 381-383 doi:10.1111/camh.12282

'From doing as you are told to finding your own voice' the shaping of Tavistock ideas by war

Tavistock Centenary slides 22 October 2020

Fathers and fragile males

The Origins of Fatherhood, an ancient family process

Family Process 1991; 30: 377-392 doi:10.1111/j.1545-5300.1991.00377.x

A man's place

in C Clulow (ed), Women, Men and Marriage Sheldon Press 1995

The fragility of fatherhood

in G Dench (ed), Rewriting the Sexual Contract Transaction 1999

The fragile male

British Medical Journal 2000; 321:1609-12 doi:

Book review: Textbook of Men's Mental Health

British Journal of Psychiatry 2007;191: 573-574

The mental health of boys

Trends in Urology & Men's Health 2011; 2: 9-11 doi:10.1002/tre.196

Narratives of fathers and sons: ‘there is no such thing as a father’

in A Vetere & E Dowling (eds) Narrative Therapies with children and their Families (Second Edition)
Brunner/Routledge 2017

Notes on the fragile male, 2017


Mental Health of Men and Boys

Submission to UK Parliament Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry, 2019

Attachment, parenting, and policy

Parenting yesterday today and tomorrow

in KN Dwivedi (ed) A Professional Handbook for Enhancing Parenting Wiley 1997

Promoting resilience: changing concepts of parenting and child care

International Journal of Child and Family Welfare 1999; 3: 273-287

Politics in the nursery

in W Wheeler (ed), The Political Subject Lawrence & Wishart 2001

‘The strong get smart while the weak ones fade’

Submission to Good Childhood Inquiry Children’s Society 2006

A tribute to the legacy of John Bowlby at the centenary of his birth

(with Howard Steele and Jeremy Holmes) Attachment & Human Development
2007; 9:4, 303 – 306 doi:10.1080/14616730701711508

Book review: Ed Tronick The Neurobehavioral and
Socio-Emotional Development of Infants and Children

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry Psychiatry 2009; 50:11, 1437–1438

"What is wrong with emotional upset?" 50 years on from the Platt Report

edited by Sebastian Kraemer, with Sydney Brandon, Mary Lindsay and Jean Lovell-Davis
Archives of Disease in Childhood 2009;94, 173–177

How does insecure attachment impair character development

in J Lexmond & M Grist (eds) 1988; The Character Inquiry Demos 2011

Where is our humanity

Child Poverty Action Group 2011

The infant socialist


Integrated perinatal care


The Politics of Attachment two decades on

Children’s centres are the foundation of social regeneration

British Medical Journal 2021;372:n41

Child protection

Splitting and stupidity in child sexual abuse

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy 1988; 3: 247-257 doi:10.1080/02668738700700211