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CHAPTER 3: The “bodyself” in early relationship

Antonella Sansone Karnac Books ePub

Research and clinical literature has paid very little attention to how a woman's bodyself may impinge on her parental skills and on the quality of her interaction with her baby which is what gave me the idea to write my frst book Mothers, Babies, and their Body Language (Sansone, 2004) and this chapter. In my frst book, the relation between the woman's bodyself and her parenting abilities is extensively considered for the frst time. Consideration is also given to how the mother's attitude to her bodyself can affect the development of the infant's bodyself. To nurture an integrated bodyself image and grow in self-confdence, a child needs a mother who values herself and has a fulflled relationship with her body and self. A sense of guilt, hatred of life, or fear sends signals about self-esteem and about the importance of motherhood. Parents teach their child assertiveness and self-trust through their confdent posture and frm way of holding, as their attitudes and feelings constantly take shape through their muscular tension and body language.

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CHAPTER 8: The effectiveness of early support

Antonella Sansone Karnac Books ePub

My work with parents and infants is usually short term in nature. It is brief because the infant-parent relationship itself is very young and diffculties can usually be quickly rectifed. The earlier the psychotherapeutic work, the more effective it is. This means that the best outcomes will appear very quickly and last longer when the psychotherapeutic work is carried out very early.

The relationship between mother and baby cannot wait for the resolution of past conficts in the mother or the father through long-term psychoanalytic work, as Stella Acquarone explains in her book Infant-Parent Psychotherapy (Acquarone, 2004). A baby develops relatively quickly in the course of active interactions with the mother and father, so a baby cannot be understood outside of these interactions. Neither can the parents be understood without taking these interactions into account.

Psychotherapeutic work with parents and infants requires an integrated and creative use of ideas from child development research, neuropsychological research, infant observations, psychoanalytic literature, theories of infant evolution, psychology, and the arts (for instance, baby massage is the oldest and the most natural of all the healing arts). In my work, I also integrate an Eastern approach to the healing relationship. However, any theoretical background should be continuously fltered by the therapist's creative personality, as this is what enables him or her to truly connect with the parents” and baby's feelings and thus understand them. This makes this kind of work with parents and infants both an art and a science.

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CHAPTER SIX: Psychoanalysis and paedophilia

Cosimo Schinaia Karnac Books ePub

Psychoanalysis and paedophilia

We would often be ashamed of our most beautiful actions if everyone saw the motives that produced them.

—François de la Rochefoucauld

The theories of perversion, to which we have to refer in order to introduce the subject of paedophilia, are numerous and diverse, and, as we shall see, variously interlinked. They concern unresolved conflicts, delay in emotional development, repetitiveness in an attempt to overcome the trauma suffered, the narcissistic quality of object relations, and the sadistic evolution of destructive aggressiveness. They go from Freudian classic formulations which consider perversion to be in continuity with the individual’s “normal” development, anxieties and basic conflicts, up to De Masi’s (1999, 2000) recent theories, according to which sadomasochistic perversion belongs to the domain of pure evil.

Moreover, there are different contexts in which the paedophilic act can mature and take root, as well as different mental structures and pathological pictures which can lead to paedophilia. A first major distinction can be made between a neurotic and a psychotic picture. A study by Glueck (1956), in which thirty jailed paedophiles were assessed, found that 76% were psychotics suffering from a schizophrenic disturbance. Their criminal act had been unpredictable and random, for the psychotic behaviour might have taken other directions, or the object of the sex offence might also have been an adult. Paedophilia, as the severe symptom of an undifferentiated and generically narcissistic sexuality, can also be detected in the sexual behaviours of some mentally retarded adults, who thus show a gap between mental age and physical development.

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CHAPTER 2: The psyche-soma within an object relations framework

Antonella Sansone Karnac Books ePub

Winnicott put at the centre of his developmental model not a mythic confict between incompatible forces but the localisation of self in one's body. for Winnicott, there was the body at the root of development out of which a “psychosomatic partnership” evolved. The self was frst and foremost a body self and the “psyche” of the partnership meant the imaginative elaboration of somatic parts, feelings and functions, that is, of physical aliveness. (Phillips 1949, p. 244)

What I fnd particularly relevant was Winnicott's interest in distressing psychosomatic symptoms that he encountered in his psychoanalytic practice. Nevertheless, he was also interested in the relationship of psyche and soma in health and in normal development as well as in illness. Phillips (1988, p. 5) drew attention to Winnicott’ s questions: “What do we depend on to make us feel alive, or real? Where does our sense come from, when we have it, that our lives are worth living? Winnicott approached these issues through the observation-one of his favoured words-of mothers and infants, and what became in time the “transitional space” between them.”

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CHAPTER EIGHT: From communication to speech

Antonella Sansone Karnac Books ePub

The infant’s innate capacity to develop language
is already the fruit of a relationship.
Mother and baby begin interacting during pregnancy
through a variety of mediators: hormones, breathing, and
heart rhythms,
maternal expectations, thoughts, and postural attitudes.
The mother’s body is also the expression of her culture
and her closest relationships.
The father contributes to shaping the womb environment
by touching the abdominal wall and talking to the baby,
as well as by supporting the mother.
The tiny baby thus has her earliest learning experience.

Pre-verbal communication: the primary bodyself-image

Before 1970, there was little curiosity about young infants’ interactions with their parents. Psychoanalysts had a theoretical interest in the development of the infant’s ego. The problem of how linguistic communication began led to observation of how mothers and fathers communicated with infants before speech. It was found that the primary communication starts from face-to-face contact, more specifically eye contact. This opened up a whole new field of investigation.

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