This account of psychoanalytic psychotherapy with two children suffering from congenital physical handicaps reveals a number of emotional and psychosocial problems that may confront such children. It describes how they were able to be helped to overcome these ‘emotional disabilities’ and to develop healthier self-images that could meet the demands and challenges of the outside world.
Children born with physical handicaps suffer a terrible burden. They are ‘different’—often noticeably so—from their peers, with consequent impairment to the establishment of a healthy self-image. Frequently less mobile and
The two children discussed in this chapter both suffered in all these ways. In addition, the mother of the younger boy— David—while suffering on her son’s behalf, had also to cope with being a single parent and having come from a very damaging family background of her own.
The story of these two boys is a painful and distressing one, but also hopeful because both children began therapy sufficiently early in their development to help repair some of the psychic damage incurred and to limit some of the more serious long-term consequences associated with their handicaps.
Life doesn’t stop at the end of a book. I wrote this book in fits and starts over
a period of about seven years, with many revisions to reflect the ever-changing state
of my family’s mental health. Like any family, we’ve had our ups and downs. My own
pattern is mostly ups; since my rock-bottom in 2002, I’ve done extraordinarily well,
both personally and professionally. After working a series of staff writer jobs, I
launched my own freelance-writing business in 2007 shortly after the birth of my son,
and I remain successfully self-employed. I’m happily married with two great kids,
and I’m mentally very stable and healthy. I haven’t had a psychotic break or even
mild depression since those dark days in 2002, though I did have a brief problem with
stress-induced anxiety a few years ago that was directly related to the ongoing mental
health problems people in my extended family continue to struggle with and the damaging
impact those problems inevitably made on my own life. To deal with it, I saw a psychotherapist
for about ten cognitive behavioral therapy sessions to help me brush up on my coping
skills, and I came off that brief bump in the road stronger and healthier than ever.
Even given all the work I’ve already done, though, these occasional “tune-ups” are
essential to staying well, I’ve found.
Tarot appears to be a card game. However, it is really a set of hieroglyphics that originated in Ancient Egypt. I have already dedicated a special volume to the origins and philosophical applications of Tarot (The Tarot of the Bohemians). But such considerations are of little use to anyone wishing to use the Tarot to interpret impressions of the past, present or future. So I am going to give as clear an account of the Tarot as possible from a purely divinatory point of view.
The Tarot consists of 78 cards: 56 cards called the minor arcana, from which today's cards are derived, plus 22 other cards, no longer found in card decks, and which are called the major arcana.
The minor arcana are composed of four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords and Coins.Wands became the Clubs of modern playing-cards, Cups became Hearts, Swords became Spades and Coins became Diamonds.
Each suit consists of 14 cards: the King, Queen, Knight and Page, in other words, the four face cards of the suit (King of Wands, Queen of Wands, Knight of Wands, Page of Wands etc.), plus 10 numbered cards, Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10, i.e. 14 cards for each of the suits: Wands, Cups, Swords and Coins, making a total of 56 cards in all.