Professor Dianna T. Kenny                  
Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Mediator, & Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner

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ChildrenSexuality and Child Abuse

Children Sexuality and Child Sexual Abuse


In the past 20 years, the progressive uncovering of child sexual abuse in institutional settings has reverberated across the globe with simultaneous investigations across Europe and the English-speaking world. However, most books on child sexual abuse are narrowly focused and do not situate this most distressing of human behaviours within a social or historical context. Children, Sexuality, and Child Sexual Abuse examines child sexual abuse from a broader perspective in order to understand how and why child sexual abuse is perpetrated, by whom, under what circumstances, and with what societal consequences for victims and perpetrators. 


This book will be an essential reference for all those working in the field of child sexual abuse.


Beginning with histories of childhood and sex, and their intersections, the book goes on to analyze sexual development, sexuality, and sexualized behaviour in children and adolescents. This is followed by an examination of the extent of child sexual abuse in the English-speaking world, including its prevalence in the Indigenous communities of Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and in once-trusted societal institutions including the Church, orphanages, and schools. The book focuses on issues of concern to all those who encounter the problem of child sexual abuse and addresses questions such as: How and when do children disclose child sexual abuse? What are the characteristics of memory that affect reporting? How are disclosure claims assessed? What are the effects of having experienced child sexual abuse? Finally, there is an examination of young people who offend sexually.


Stress health

Stress and Health: Research and Clinical Applications (Biobehavioural Perspectives on Health and Disease Prevention)

With contributions from psychologists, researchers, and clinicians, this work presents a global perspective on current developments in the field divided into five broad categories: biological, physiological, and psychological bases of stress; health consequences of stress; management of stress and stress-related disorders; stress, cardiovascular disease and cancer and occupational stress.



Bringing Up Baby: The Psychoanalytic Infant Comes of Age

This is an important text that synthesises diverse literatures and theories on infant development into a coherent framework that illuminates the essence of infancy for all those who have infants, study infants, teach about infancy, make policy with respect to infant welfare, and work medically or therapeutically with mothers and their infants. It brings together in one volume the principal theories of infant development, beginning with Freud’s vision of the Oedipal infant, moving through the post-Freudian conceptualizations of the infant of Anna Freud, Melanie Klein, and the British Independents with Donald Winnicott as exemplar, then to the attachment theorists, the intersubjective theories, the cognitive developmental psychologists, examining the work of Jean Piaget and the neo-Piagetian cognitive theorists concluding with the modern infant of developmental neuroscience and an examination of the neurobiology of attachment, stress, and care giving.

Margaret Jacobs on 24/09/2013

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"This book is impeccably researched with academic rigour. It is presented in an accessible manner, taking the reader on a journey from the origins of psychoanalytic thought through theories of learning, attachment, development of cognition to neuroscience. It is such a clear cohesive summary of each theory with a psychoanalytic thread woven through the book. The case studies which illustrate different theories provide enjoyable reading, and the diversity of literature reviewed provides a broad basis for understanding each concept introduced. The use of the infant is the central anchor point as the reader also observes the “bringing up” of infant research; from earlier psychoanalytic thought to the author’s current thought and integration of influential theories of infant development to the modern day research. It is refreshing to read a clear and eloquent critique of each of the theories without demonstrating an obvious position or bias. This book is well worth reading."

From Id to Intersubjectivity: Talking about the Talking Cure with Master Clinicians

Psychoanalysis has moved a long way from the techniques of classical psychoanalysis but these changes have not been understood or disseminated to the wider community. Even university scholars and students of psychology have an archetypal view of the original form of psychoanalysis and do not appreciate that major changes have occurred.

This book commences with a detailed outline of the origins of psychoanalysis and an explanation of key terms, which are often misinterpreted. The second chapter examines the changes that have occurred in theorising and practice over the past 120 years and explores key developments. The following chapters contain an interview with a practitioner working in one of each of the four major branches of modern psychoanalysis – object relations, attachment informed psychotherapy, intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy, and relational and intersubjective theory. There follows textual, content, conceptual, and thematic analyses of the transcripts of interviews and commentaries on a therapy excerpt exploring commonalities and differences among these theoretical approaches. The book closes with a consideration of how these differences translate into clinical practice.

This book aims to appeal to a wide audience, including clinical practitioners, students of psychology and psychotherapy, the informed lay public, and those thinking about commencing an analysis.

Pascal on 12/10/2015

Rating1Rating2Rating3Rating4Rating5 (5 out of 5)

"This uniquely constructed book reviews four of the current main models of psychodynamic psychotherapy as it is theorized and practised clinically. The four models (object relations, attachment theory, exsistential/phenomenological and ISTDP) are firstly elucidated via in depth interviews with a major proponent of each model. Each clinician then comments on a transcript of a psychoanalytic session, assessing both the therapist's interventions and interpretations, and the patient's functioning. The format, unique in my experience, offers an ideal training tool for teachers and students of the psychodynamic psychotherapies. I recommend this book highly, especially to courses at the master and doctoral level of training. It brings a clarity to both concept and technique of psychotherapy."

The Psychology of Music Performance Anxiety

Why are some performers exhilarated and energized about performing in public, while others feel a crushing sense of fear and dread, and experience public performance as an overwhelming challenge that must be endured? What are the factors that produce such vastly different performance experiences? Why have consummate artists like Frederic Chopin, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Pablo Cassals, Tatiana Troyanos, and Barbra Streisand experienced such intense music performance anxiety? This is a disorder that can affect musicians across a range of genres and of all standards. Some of the 'cures' musicians resort to can be harmful to their health and detrimental to their playing.

 "The book will have wide interdisciplinary appeal to performing musicians, educators, psychologists, and psychiatrists; the author who is Professor Psychology and Professor of Music at the University of Sydney, has distinguished herself with a career's worth of prolific research, including over 200 publications. Her studies in the areas of music psychology and performance anxiety demonstrate strong methodologies and a desire for robust scientific inquiry... This book is an outstanding contribution to the psychology and performance literature." - Susan Geffen, Editor, Clavier Companion

God, Freud and Religion: The Origins of Faith, Fear and Fundamentalism

The Bible tells us that God created man in his own image. Freud argued the reverse - that Man created God in his image. This book interrogates these two propositions to provide a coherent account of why people might believe in God. In God, Freud and Religion, a psychoanalytic perspective and Freud's works on religion offer a framework for examining the genesis of religious belief and its use in manipulating human behaviour for secular or political purposes. Drawing on theories from psychoanalysis, developmental, cognitive, social psychology, and neuroscience, Dianna Kenny examines arguments for and against belief and explores the relationship between science and religion, and between religion and cognition and emotion. 

Cassandra Stamatis on 01/09/2015

Rating1Rating2Rating3Rating4Rating5 (5 out of 5)

"I have puzzled over the many questions tackled in Dianna Kenny's book for most of my adolescence and adulthood. I have struggled with my agnosticism and am troubled by the seemingly endless global conflicts. This book has provided me with a new framework for thinking about these issues. It is the first book I have read that brings together so many pieces of the puzzle. This is the novelty of this book. It invovles many disciplines and the presentation of many perspectives that cast new light on ageless philosophical issues. Dianna is very erudite and convincing - she is so widely read; she presents very difficult concepts in an engaging and comprehensible way. One can apply much of the content of the book to one's own thinking, which I found empowering. This book is a must read for anyone trying to make sense of human behaviour and our place in the universe."

Australia's Adolescents

A collection of research papers on the health of Australian adolescents. Six papers investigate eating and body-image problems, another six mental health, stress, unemployment and suicide, five are on risk taking and road safety, five on AIDS, five on general health care issues, two on adolescent pregnancy, and one each on asthma, sexual behaviour, and menstruation. With one exception, all contributors are Australian academics and health care professionals. Includes index. 


Young Offenders on Community Orders: Health, Welfare and Criminogenic Needs

"The 2006 NSW State Plan has clear priorities and targets to support decision making and respond to the needs of the community, amongst which are some of particular interest for the population [...]. These include reducing re-offending, improving access to quality healhtcare and providing early interventions for disadvantaged populations, particularly among vulnerable young people."