Surgeon and writer Dr Atul Gawande has delivered the inspiring 2014 Reith lecture series on BBC Radio 4 in the last weeks. One phrase that resonated with me was his assertion that we collectively need to move from ‘the age of the molecule’ to ‘the age of the system.’ He went on to state that in his view wonder drugs like penicillin have driven us to search for ‘magic bullet’ cures for almost every human condition . Complex problems need systemic responses he feels not ‘wonder drugs’. I passionately feel that a child’s behaviour and response to the complexities of their environment is such a situation.
How does this affect the choices that exercise our professional minds when working with children and adolescents who are presenting in a distressed state?