11923 Chapters
Medium 9781855755697

Story Four

Kennedy, Roger Karnac Books ePub

It began with a funeral, which was not exactly an auspicious place to start an affair; you would have thought it more suitable for the ending of a relationship.

I shall call my main character Simon Shadow, for reasons that will soon become apparent. He had come to pay his last respects to his late partner, Jim Sinclair, who had died suddenly from a massive heart attack at the tragically early age of forty-four, leaving behind a widow, Jane, and three young children. Sinclair had smoked, eaten, drunk, and worked to excess. In the early days of their law firm, they had put in an enormous amount of time and effort to set it on its feet. But even when the firm was doing well, Sinclair worked and worried excessively.

Shadow was in his late thirties and unmarried. Though he had come close to marriage on several occasions, he had managed to avoid the final commitment. He would live with a woman for several months but towards the end of the eighth month or so, just as things were moving to a satisfactory climax, he would insist on breaking up the relationship. He would look at other women, refuse to make love, or make love with indifference. He might pretend he was seeing another woman, or just admit that he had no intention of marrying and that he was a pig. On the occasion of the funeral, he was free and on the look-out for another woman.

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Medium 9781855754324

Squiggle Game

Abram, Jan Karnac Books ePub

1   A therapeutic diagnostic tool

2   A belief in

3   “Let's play”

4   The technique

5   A dream screen

W innicott initiated the Squiggle Game in first assessment interviews with children. He started off by drawing a squiggle on a piece of paper; he then asked the child to add to it. Over the course of the initial interview, Winnicott and the child took it in turns to draw something in response to the other's squiggle. In this way, the squiggles sometimes turned into pictures. For each interview, there were usually about thirty drawings produced.

For Winnicott, the Squiggle Game was not only a tool for diagnosis, but also what he called a “psychotherapeutic consultation”.

1   A therapeutic diagnostic tool

The “Squiggle Game” was used by Winnicott, emerging from his own interest in drawing, combined with an ability to find an appropriate way of communicating with a young child by inviting him to play.

Just as the Spatula Game originated from Winnicott's diagnostic clinics for mothers and babies, so the Squiggle Game emerged from his child psychiatry practice. The posthumously published paper simply entitled “The Squiggle Game” is an amalgamation of two papers, one published in 1964 and the other in 1968, at a time when Winnicott was in his late 60s and early 70s and nearing the end of his life.

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Medium 9781855759350

11: Minding the gap: reconciling the gaps between expectation and reality in work with adoptive families

Karnac Books ePub

Lorraine Tollemache

This chapter addresses the gaps between the hopes and expectations of adoption and the often painful realities of the experience, and how we have helped families to bridge them. This is because adoption is a complex process, and the hopes and expectations of each person involved in it are invariably different. Though many remain unvoiced and some are only partially conscious, they are still difficult to relinquish. Most people know that adoption today is a particularly risky enterprise because it sets out to remedy earlier failures and experiences of loss and trauma by putting together children and adults who have only a nominal opportunity of choosing each other and no previous experience of living together. Their reactions to this experience can be explosive and leave everyone shaken, not least the social workers who carry heavy responsibility for the outcome.

There is great need for families and professionals to have access to a team separate from those that make the placements but familiar with the demands of the situation, where there are opportunities to work out what may be going on, the adaptations that are necessary, and where feelings may be expressed and understood. There is frequently little opportunity for the latter because, as Lear has said (1998), “there is a wish to ignore the complexity, depth and darkness of human life... there is a wish in everybody to ignore pain”. If something as challenging as building a family through adoption is to have any chance of success, families and those who work with them must be open to feelings that are often hidden and emerge in unexpected ways. The defences of denial and pretence do not work.

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Medium 9781855757301

CHAPTER NINE: Knowing and not knowing: existential perspectives on truth

Scalzo, Chris Karnac Books ePub

Knowing and not knowing:
existential perspectives on truth

The archaeological paradigm within psychoanalysis, in which the therapist adopts a role of explorer, seeking for the “hidden” latent truth in a child’s presenting pathology or narrative, does not hold true for existential practice. When presented with the playful and creative narrative of a child, a traditional psychoanalytic model of practice may encourage the therapist to distinguish between the surface presentation and a deeper underlying truth. It becomes a necessary part of the therapeutic process to endeavour to uncover the true meaning of what is actually being revealed by the child. The objects presented lose their surface meaning, turning into symbols of deeper representation.

At a very simplistic level, a toy animal figure stuck in the sand, for example, could be interpreted as representing the troubled mother paralysed by her own anxiety and fear. The figure is not just a figure, but becomes imbued with additional meaning and symbolism beyond what it actually is. When working through an existential–phenomenological framework, this distinction is unnecessary and unhelpful. Instead, the presentation of the child and their story can simply be understood as a truthful representation in itself. Any greater understanding, which the therapist may strive for, arrives subsequently, not through the interpretation of a theoretical framework or scientific knowledge, but from an establishment of ever-widening contexts. In the case of the toy figure in the child’s narrative, this may be a matter of considering what type of toy this is. Perhaps it is a wild or domesticated one. Perhaps the child has chosen a different figure to last time. This, in turn, raises questions about how the child may view and perceive this animal, and the sensation of it being stuck. A mutual understanding is developed through the phenomenological disclosure of the choice of animal, its context, and so forth. As the context and understanding expand, so, in some ways, do the choices and possibilities. This process of existential practice does not establish a system for interpretation, but a context for understanding, which includes the world as a whole. The meanings of each toy chosen to construct the child’s narrative already arrive in the play with values that may or may not be explicitly acknowledged, but are, none the less, present. The child may use a toy lion as a mother, but it is still initially a lion, unless we are told otherwise.

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Medium 9781782204244

The Topology of True and False Holes

Moncayo, Raul Karnac Books ePub

Wednesday 20 January 1976 and Wednesday 10 February 1976

The name and sexuation The topology of true and false holes

For session 5 Lacan invites Jacques Aubert to give a presentation at the beginning of the seminar. Aubert was considered an expert on Joyce.

Building on the etymology of the word person in terms of “personat” that means to echo and sound through, Aubert reflects on the relationship between person and sound and the sound of the subject: “That or This speaks…”

He comments that in Joyce's writing everything can be understood as a voice-effect through the means of the mask of the person.

He gives the example of the father–son relationship and quotes an exchange from Joyce's Ulysses between Bloom and Rudolph who is supposed to be his father and to have been dead for eighteen years.

Rudolph emerges primarily as a sage or elder of Zion. He has the semblance of a sage of Zion. He feels the semblance of his son with the trembling claws of an old vulture, and speaks like a Jewish elder to the voice within the mask: “What are you doing here, in this place? Have you no soul? Are you not my dear son Leopold, the grandson of Leopold? Are you not my dear son Leopold who left the house of his father and left the god of his fathers Abraham and Jacob?” (Joyce, 1922, p. 416).

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