Peter Andersson. Foto: Rickard Kihlström

Peter Andersson


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Arbetar vid Institutionen för socialt arbete
Telefon 08-16 13 32
Besöksadress Sveavägen 160, Sveaplan
Rum 618
Postadress Institutionen för socialt arbete 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

Jag är socionom, Fil. dr. i socialt arbete och legitimerad psykoterapeut. Jag har disputerat med avhandlingen "Hot, våld och emotionellt arbete på de särskilda ungdomshemmen. Personalens berättelser" (2021).

Tidigare har jag arbetat med behandling inom främst socialtjänst och kriminalvård och som chef inom den statliga ungdomsvården (SiS). Utöver forskning och undervisning bedriver jag psykoterapi i egen verksamhet.   


För tillfället undervisar jag bland annat på masterkursen 'Våld i nära relationer - barn, familjer och samhällets responser' om behandling för våldsutövare.

Jag är också kursansvarig för kursen 'Professionella samtal II' och basgruppslärare under T5 när socionomstudenterna har sin praktikperiod. Handleder även studenter under examensarbete (c-uppsatser). 



Mitt forskningsområde är våld inom institutioner, personalperspektiv på institutioner och institutionsvård. 

Jag har presenterat mitt forskningsmaterial bland annat på följande konferenser:

(1) The European Sociological Association midterm conference at the the University of Edinburgh, Scotland August 28th–30th, 2018.

(2) The XV Conference EUSARF (European Scientific Association on Residential & Family Care for Children and Adolescents), EUSARF 2018 PORTO, from 2nd to 5th October 2018.

(3) 3rd European Conference on Domestic Violence. Oslo, 1-4 September 2019.

Våren 2019 besökte jag Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, deparment of Social Sicences and Law, där jag presenterade delar av mitt då pågående avhandlingsprojekt.

Tidigare har jag publicerat:

Andersson, P. (2016). Att som psykoterapeut arbeta med våld. Tidskriften Psykoterapi, 3, pp. 16-25.

Andersson, P. (2020). Behandlande arbete med våldsutövande fäder. Mellanrummet. Nordisk tidskrift för barn- och ungdomspsykoterapi, 40, pp. 25-32.


Media (länkar till medverkan i media):









I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2020. Peter Andersson. Nordic Social Work Research 10 (2), 158-172

    The Swedish National Board of Institutional Care (SiS) has reported a rise in violent incidents between staff and youth placed in secure units. This paper explores how secure unit staff narratively position themselves and youth when speaking about violence, and how staff describe the emotional impact violence has on them. The paper takes two theoretical starting points. First is the concept of emotional labour, including feeling rules, emphasizing that staff work with the emotions of others whilst also being expected to control their own. Second is the idea that the interaction among staff shapes various social representations and positionings. Five focus groups were conducted with staff (n = 27) who worked with both boys and girls at three different secure units in Sweden. The empirical data was first processed through narrative analysis and then by an interaction analysis. The results, presented as four excerpts within four themes, reveal collegial processes of narrative helping that steer group members to find emotional positions when talking about experienced violence, i.e., to find appropriate feeling rules. Furthermore, despite counter-narratives expressed by participants in the focus group, a representation of youth as violent persists. Finally, emotional labour seems to involve working with one’s own feelings and controlling the emotions of youth, not the opposite. The results suggest how important it is for staff to recognize youth from different templates and that violence can take various forms, and furthermore, that it is essential to make the emotion of fear visible in this context.

  • 2020. Peter Andersson. Emotion, Space and Society 37

    Secure units for adolescents are emotion-filled places. This paper examines how secure unit staff are socialized to match emotions to violent situations in a dynamic social context according to different feeling rules. The analysis applies theories about emotional culture as well as feeling rules. The article builds on 53 semi-structural interviews with staff at three secure units for detained boys and girls run by the Swedish National Board of Institutional Care. The findings illustrate different ways in which staff adjust their feelings in violent situations by both breaking and following rules. Results are discussed with respect to three themes: (1) emotional adjustments tuned to co-workers; (2) emotional adjustments tuned to self; and (3) emotional adjustments tuned to youth behaviour. The results show the importance of taking emotions seriously in daily work, as this makes it possible to visualize how staff emotionally socialize into their organization. Due to a lack of education and professional identity among staff, the socialization process is highly relevant, as it is primarily perceptions of youth and co-workers that control and develop feeling rules for staff.

  • 2018. Peter Andersson, Carolina Överlien. Social Work and Social Sciences Review 19 (3), 61-80

    To a large degree, the voices of staff running daily operations in secure units for adolescents, particularly on sensitive issues such as violence and abuse, have been missing. The aim of the present paper is to make these voices heard by investigating what forms of violence staff in secure units encounter in their day-to-day work and to deepen our understanding of how they handle it. The study uses two theoretical starting points. First, the secure unit is understood in terms of Berger and Luckmann’s concept of institutionalisation, emphasising how behaviour and practices develop through well-defined roles. Secondly, inspiration is drawn from Goffman’s notion of frontstage and backstage, highlighting how staff within an institution (i.e. secure unit) enter into different roles. Fifty-three semi-structured interviews were conducted with staff at three different secure units for adolescents in Sweden. The material was organised through a thematic analysis, yielding six themes placed under two headings; ‘A violent scene? A matter of definition’ and ‘Handling violence: strategies employed’. The results show how staff describe youth as the violent party and how they suppress their own emotions. Additionally, staff articulated their own use of violence toward youth and their emotional stance, describing an interpersonal shield that protected them from violence. The results underline the importance of raising questions about the nature of violence in secure units for adolescents and how staff handle such violence in their everyday work.

  • 2020. Peter Andersson, Carolina Överlien. Journal of Social Work Practice

    This article focuses on how one staff member at a therapeutic residential institution negotiates his work identity, exploring how he narrates a violent incident, the formation of work identity, and how the adolescent figures within these processes. Mishler argues that when speaking, we perform identity. As social actors, we select and organize language, telling stories that fit the audience, our intentions, and the occasion. The article is framed both theoretically and methodologically through the assumption that narrative is a fundamental human way of giving meaning to our experiences. Identities are understood as being produced and performed within personal narratives. Thus, in an interview situation, narratives provide an interactive space for personal subjectivities to be expressed and enacted. Drawing on Mishler, we find three essential "turning points" that shape Alex’s work identity: (1) the violent incident, (2) the adolescent’s return to the ward, and (3) Alex’s subsequent change of wards. We interpret Alex’s narrative as a "narrative of resistance" that may have practical day-to-day implications for the field of institutional care and help expand the staff’s clinical toolbox. Further, Alex’s narrative is a vital example of stories of violence, which can be incorporated into policy documents on violence management.

  • 2021. Peter Andersson (et al.).

    The aim of this dissertation is to describe how staff working at secure units define violence, the ways in which they say violence affects them emotionally, and the ways they emotionally handle violence. The secure units (särskilda ungdomshem) are managed by the Swedish National Board of Institutional care (Statens Institutionsstyrlese, SiS). The daily work of staff members is often described in terms of various dilemmas, challenges and tensions. Staff work in a context where they are at the intersection between care and punishment. How they respond to these dilemmas, challenges and tensions can affect how they handle violence. The organization (i.e. the institution) requires staff to induce or suppress emotions in order to sustain outward attitudes that produce a proper state of mind. Therefore, secure units are defined as an emotional place for both youth and staff.

    The dissertation consists of four articles that explore different forms and directions of violence in the daily work of staff, and the ways that staff describe the impact of violence on their professional and private lives. The empirical data consist of 53 individual staff interviews (articles 1–3) and five focus groups with 27 staff members (article 4). Three overarching theoretical concepts are deployed: emotional work, narrative and violence.

    The main findings from these papers can be summarized as follows: Staff talked about the extent and forms of violence that characterize their everyday work (articles 1 and 4), mostly in the form of stories where they described being exposed to both psychological and material violence. The frequency of this violence ranged from occasional to daily. Staff also talked about how they emotionally handled both perceived and acted-out violence, and how such violence can affect their professional role (articles 2 and 3). A common strategy seems to be role-taking. That is, staff members think they are exposed to violence in their role as “staff”, not as private individuals. This paves the way for the normalization of violence as a strategy for dealing with everyday professional life. Furthermore, staff attribute violence to youth in an explicit way. This means that staff members find it difficult to reflect on their own responsibility and the fact that they are, in fact, co-creators of most incidents of violence.

    The overall results of the four papers are additionally organized around three themes: (1) the position of the young person: perpetrator, (2) working with violence in a caring context and (3) prohibited workplace emotions. Traces of these themes can be found in all four articles and they are clearly linked to the dissertation’s theoretical concepts. In conclusion, it is possible to describe these three themes as an expression of organizational shortcomings in which the staff are trapped.

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Senast uppdaterad: 23 februari 2021

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