Technique in Child and Adolescent Analysis

Views: 471
Ratings: (0)

These are the edited papers from a conference held in 2008 on the topic of problems with child and adolescent analysis. The contributors come from widely differing theoretical backgrounds and use a broad variety of metapsychological concepts, among them contemporary Kleinian, post-Bionian classical Freudian. This collection helps widen our understanding of technique with children and adolescents and together they show a very modern psychoanalytic technique may be emerging from modern recent work with children and adolescents.

List price: $25.99

Your Price: $20.79

You Save: 20%

 

7 Slices

Format Buy Remix

Chapter One: Problems of technique in analysis of children and adolescents: transference—interpretation—play

ePub

Michael Günter

In the psychoanalysis of children it is children’s play that offers us the easiest access to the inner world of the child. At the same time, children’s play and playing with children has caused the most headaches over the question of what is correct therapeutic technique. We often experience play as getting out of hand, as breaking the bounds of norms and rules. The forces at the heart of play opposing and attacking “proper behaviour” emanate from libido. Children’s play can, admittedly, also get lost in narcissistic over-inflation of self-importance which blanks out the disturbing reality of others and of triangulating thought, or which in obsessive repetition acts as defence against all forms of threatening inner objects. Nevertheless it is play that allows us to come into contact with children and their unconscious inner world. Melanie Klein explored and brought out the equivalence of children’s play with dream in The Psychoanalysis of Children (1932) pointing out that associations can be obtained as well from a child as from an adult, if we use children’s play as a medium in the analysis. Winnicott built his entire theory of creativity and with it his fundamental access to psychoanalysis on play. It was not without reason that he described his now famous technique for first interviews as the squiggle game (1971a).

 

Chapter Two: “Lillifee thinks she’s an arsehole.” Three levels of technique in child analysis: containment, transformation, interpretation

ePub

Angelika Staehle

My topic is technique in child analysis. My specific interest here is in the analytical thinking which is our instrument and in how it is realized in the wide variety of therapeutic fields of child and adolescent treatment. What these very differing fields have in common is, in my view, the identity of the analyst which rests on an internalization of the analytical method. It is by using his or her understanding of the unconscious that the analyst is enabled to set a psychoanalytical process in motion. Only in a process of this kind can unconscious processes manifest and it is they that allow one to approach the infinite entanglements of psychical experience that characterize psychic illness.

Freud did not, as we know, have a child patient in analysis. But it is to him that we owe the account of his treatment of “Little Hans” via the father. Actually this represents the first example of psychoanalytical supervision. The reason that this case was so important to Freud was that it allowed him to test out his theories on the development of infantile sexuality and the Oedipus complex, theories which he had developed in analysing adults. And for us the case of Little Hans is important because it offered us that first access to pre-verbal children’s play, and to the drawings, dreams and phantasies which serve as the foundation for the technique of child analysis today.

 

Chapter Three: Clinical and technical problems in child and adolescent analysis (following in Bion’s footsteps)

ePub

Antonino Ferro

To be capable of “living” the emotions, of experiencing them, is one of the greatest difficulties we humans have if there are deficiencies in mental development. To “live” emotions demands continuous work and this work presupposes the integration of intact apparatus to assimilate, manage, and contain emotions. It is perhaps this aspect that explains my stressing the lack of specific instruments in the equipment of my analytical “kitchen” for using transference.

The problem, at least as regards severely ill patients or rather as regards the deeper-seated or archaic states of mind, seems to me to lie in the way emotions are treated and sometimes in their transformation from proto-emotive states to emotional representations.

I therefore think of transference less as a neurosis transference with all its vicissitudes, but rather as an all-pervasive state which obliges one to dream the present, continuously to work on internal and external stimuli.

I think of an extended concept of transference as a necessity in the human race or in an individual to create stories, to create history out of whatever permeates from the proto-emotive point of view. To create a feuilleton (Luzes, personal communication, 1988) is what we know best how to do in life, and I believe that the analyst can be regarded as someone who stitches together the fragments of stories. Or he could sometimes be seen as setting the type or again as rearranging the pages into a fresh sequence. This narrative activity, this constant poetic myth-making I believe to be a characteristic of our species as is testified in prehistoric graffiti. This path from graffiti (visual pictograms) to narrative is also the path in which our mind continuously follows. The work of the analyst is also one which can consist in taking apart accumulations of indistinct proto-emotions or split-off aspects and sorting them into simple entities so that they can, once transformed, restructure themselves or create new narratives. What is always present is the risk of transference from analyst to patient. I would call this the danger that the analyst’s mind may create transformations in hallucinosis so that what is “seen” in the patient’s mind is what the analyst projects into him based on his own theory, his own emotional needs, his own narrative urge.

 

Chapter Four: What about the transference? Technical issues in the treatment of children who cannot symbolize

ePub

Maria Rhode

Throughout the history of psychoanalysis, the question as to whether any given group of patients could benefit by it has centred on the nature of the transference that those patients developed and on the need for technical modifications. These debates have proved fruitful for theories of mental structure as well as for theories of technique. Child analysis was perhaps the most important early example of the widened scope of psychoanalysis, along with the treatment of psychotic patients. Work with children has of course itself been greatly extended in the past 30 years, so that the “normal neurotic” child hardly figures in our practice, certainly not in the public sector. Instead, we see traumatized, abused and refugee children, children in foster care, children on the oncology ward, psychotic or borderline children, or those with autism or with serious developmental delay and learning impairment. All these children tend to be overwhelmed by primitive anxieties concerning physical and psychic survival. Because of this, they resort to extreme measures to protect themselves, and they may experience a therapeutic approach as an additional threat.

 

Chapter Five: Identity and bisexuality: thoughts on technique from the analysis of an adolescent girl

ePub

Helga Kremp-Ottenheym

“I always wanted to be like my brother. I looked up to him and did everything the way he did it. When I was 12 I discovered that this wouldn’t work for me as a girl. I lost the ground under my feet. I no longer knew what I was supposed to be.” These are statements an 18-year-old patient made a few weeks after she had begun her treatment with me. In saying this she was recalling the time of her puberty which was when the problems that led her to me had first arisen. She came to me shortly before taking her final school exams and told me of her painful sense of failure which she saw as, above all, connected with her body, how it felt to her and how she perceived it. At 14 she had discovered that she was too fat. She felt she was not attractive enough to be able to find a boyfriend.

The failure of a number of attempts to establish relationships through sexual experience, which she initiated herself and which were accompanied by feelings of despair and fear, served to confirm what she had expected, namely that no-one would like her. Full of self-hatred and contempt for her body and desperately unhappy about her situation, she felt condemned to remain alone for the rest of her life, describing vividly how she felt she had failed in the central task of adolescence: in the words of Blos she had not managed to achieve “the heterosexual object finding, made possible by the abandonment of the narcissistic and bisexual positions” (1962, p. 87). This means that many patients who seek treatment in their late or post-adolescence have not been able to find a satisfying solution to the conflicts around bisexuality. The insoluble conflicts over the choice of sexual object are preceded by a failure to integrate bisexual urges or tendencies (Blos, 1962).

 

Chapter Six: Some thoughts on psychoanalytical technique in the treatment of adolescents: on the development of body image, body ego, and ego structures

ePub

Elisabeth Brainin

The perception of the external world is closely linked to the perception of one’s own body and of the changes it undergoes. The starting point for this constant back and forth of inner and outer perception is the stage of “pure pleasure-ego” as Freud called it in Instincts and their Vicissitudes (1915c, p. 228, German original). In a child’s development, with the increasing mastering of motility and possibility of motor discharge, one can observe the emergence of an apparatus of defence which wards off drive impulses that seem dangerous to the ego. Otto Fenichel describes how introjec-tion, projection, and denial develop, the last of these on the basis of negative hallucinations—as he names the “ignoring of unpleasant outer circumstances” (1937, vol. II, p. 52, German). I regard the development of the body ego and the accompanying development of the apparatus of defence as the foundation of what is referred to as mentalization in currently prevailing psychoanalytical theories of development.

 

Chapter Seven: Rivals or partners? The role of parents in psychoanalytical work with children

ePub

Kai von Klitzing

Working with parents is still a neglected topic in the literature on child psychoanalysis although all child analysts are convinced of the necessity of involving the parents in their day-to-day analytical work. The first child analysis, the case of “Little Hans” (Sigmund Freud, 1909b), was even carried out indirectly via the regular reporting of the boy’s father and his supervision by Freud. Freud himself only had direct contact with the child once during the five months of his treatment.

In the early years of child analysis the parents were perceived as a source of irritation or complication in the process. The child analysts were affected by their dependence on having the parents bring the child to analysis at all. There was often a complication in that parents would break off the childrens’ treatment prematurely. In her paper “Zur Technik der Kinderanalyse,” Hug-Hellmuth (1920)— one of the pioneers of child analysis—spoke of parental narcissism, which explains the “deep jealousy which wells up particularly in the mothers when they see their child rushing to attach itself to the person of the analyst” (p. 35). Despite these difficulties and indeed because of them she felt it was vital not to proceed without contact with the parents. Parents in her view were, above all, able to promote the analysis through the information they could give on symptoms and anamnestic details which the children preferred to keep to themselves.

 

Details

Print Book
E-Books
Slices

Format name
ePub (DRM)
Encrypted
true
Sku
9781780492599
Isbn
9781780492599
File size
0 Bytes
Printing
Disabled
Copying
Disabled
Read aloud
No
Format name
ePub
Encrypted
No
Printing
Allowed
Copying
Allowed
Read aloud
Allowed
Sku
In metadata
Isbn
In metadata
File size
In metadata