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Chapter Three - The Buddha in the Sky: Dialogue with Stephen Malloch

Maria Pozzi Monzo Karnac Books ePub

Dialogue with Stephen Malloch

Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anaemic.

—Martin Luther King, Jr.

Reference

King, Martin Luther, Jr. (1967). Where Do We Go From Here? Annual Report Delivered at the Eleventh Convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, 16 August, Atlanta, GA.

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CHAPTER SEVEN: Soiling

Maria Pozzi Monzo Karnac Books ePub

Introduction

Soiling is usually a symptom of psychological difficulties, anxieties, and conflicts in the child and in the relationship with his parental figures. It is often present in cases of sexual abuse. Some soiling children may have achieved mastery over their bowels, but regress to a developmental stage previously acquired. Other children may not have managed proper bowel control, as one can read in the following case with Rosy. However, in both groups of children, we observe determined and often seemingly deliberate action, aimed at the retaining or overflowing of their bowels.

The soiling symptom can present either a mixture or a prevalence of oedipal or pre-oedipal issues, as Forth (1992) and Barrows (1996) argue in their writing about the soiling children they saw in individual psychotherapy. A four-year-old girl, described by Forth, had experienced traumatic losses within her family relationship and had turned to her own body products as a precious comfort and also as a way to hold on to her object and to control her feelings of anger and sadness about her losses. At a very primitive level, she may have also feared losing bits of her body, had she let go of her faeces.

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9: Parent-infant psychotherapy: when feelings of futility are prevalent

Maria Pozzi Monzo Karnac Books ePub

Amanda Jones

The focus of this chapter is very specific. It is written out of a motivation to share some of my difficulties working with babies, who, I feel, have given up reaching out for human contact. The babies I am thinking of actively sever human connection by avoiding eye contact, stilling or startling when touched, and sleeping too much. They are also quiet: the mouth, usually a place of passionate expression is flat, as if the lips are glued together; or sometimes the lips and tongue are floppy, lacking tone. The absence of appetite for interaction is noticeable. Moreover, the babies look lethargic; their eyes are dull. There is no sense of mastery when making a gesture, or manipulating an object. Although these babies look depressed, I do not think this captures the experience of futility and hopelessness they feel. The fifteen or so babies I have worked with who presented in this way were between four weeks and six months old.

I describe an intervention I undertook with a very quiet and disconnected seven-week-old baby to explain what I think was starting to happen in his developing internal object-relational world and then how I helped his seventeen-year-old mother to reach him. This brief introduction is to give a flavour of Nat and Natalie. Although I have changed their names, I have Natalie’s permission to share aspects of their therapy. Natalie was referred to the Parent-Infant Mental Health Service by her health visitor. On completing the Edinburgh Post Natal Depression Scale Natalie had said in a flat voice—as if in passing—that she felt suicidal and cut herself. Her health visitor sensitively said that Nat was doing well, but Natalie seemed low. Natalie nodded and agreed to the referral.

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CHAPTER SIX: The little girl who could not sleep, or psychic bolts

Maria Pozzi Monzo Karnac Books ePub

“In Veritate Libertas Vitae”

One can read the above slogan, which is very appropriate to the theme of freedom, on an old pamphlet of the Lincoln Centre and Institute for Psychotherapy. The slogan means that the freedom of life lies in truth. This chapter is on the concept of psychological freedom and my understanding of it, as a psychotherapist working with children and families. I took inspiration for the title of this book from the work with the family I describe in this chapter.

The theme of freedom is seen here from a psychological point of view and, in particular, from the vertex of the internal world of the individual, rather than from a political, social, cultural or moral point of view. Yet, I am aware of the difficulty in separating these closely interrelated dimensions. The movement towards individual, internal freedom is an attitude, which hopefully leads to free choices in life, rather than perpetuating models of psychological slavery, pathology, deprivation, and abuse.

In an article in the International journal of Psychoanalysis on human freedom and its transmission, Neville Symington writes: “It is central to Bion’s thinking that the expression of freedom lies in a person’s activity of thinking his own thoughts. The person who is able to think his own thoughts is free” (Symington, 1990, p. 96). I would like to add that such a capacity, to think one’s own thoughts, is very often impaired by all sorts of conditioning and that even when it exists within the individual, it is important that it is also expressed in appropriate actions. All this is possible only when the individual can understand and contain his or her anxieties and unconscious conflicts. It seems to me that by being aware of and taking responsibility for such conflicts, the individual becomes free and able to act his own thoughts.

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CHAPTER THIRTEEN What works for whom?

Maria Pozzi Monzo Karnac Books PDF

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

What works for whom?

Dialogue with Myra Berg

Never turn away … Just turn towards as all you really have is your own experience.

mp:

I am very grateful that you have agreed to meet again since the previous recording got some glitch and wasn’t useable. Perhaps we could start again by how you got into Buddhism, whether you come from a Buddhist or a religious family background.

mb:

I don’t come from a religious background and certainly not

Buddhist. I think I became aware of it when I was probably a teenager; it was actually the Buddha himself, the icon of the

Buddha, his feeling of calm, wisdom and a lot of associations

I had to that, so that was something I was aware of but didn’t take it any further. Then when I was older I went to a couple of

Buddhist countries and went into Buddhist temples.

mp:

Which countries were they?

mb:

Ladhak or Little Tibet and Vietnam. I also did martial arts and that’s got sort of Zen connotations and a meditation part and an Eastern way of thinking; so bit by bit by bit, when I finished

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