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Etchegoyen, A. (1996). Panel Report: Psychoanalysis Of The Child: Psychic Reality Of The Patient And The Analyst: Chaired by JOHAN NORMAN, Bromma, Sweden. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 77:353-358.

(1996). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 77:353-358

Panel Report: Psychoanalysis Of The Child: Psychic Reality Of The Patient And The Analyst: Chaired by JOHAN NORMAN, Bromma, Sweden

Alicia Etchegoyen

The Chairman, Johan Norman, introduced the session by remarking on the asymmetry between the psychic reality of the child, which does not include the experience of being an adult and the psychic reality of the analyst's infantile experiences that are relatively unavailable to consciousness.

Norman described how the avoidance of psychic reality may be understood as an expression of ego defence mechanisms driven by anxiety or as an expression of an identification with internal objects that avoid or manipulate psychic truth. He suggested that the vicissitudes of psychic reality are particularly in evidence in child analysis and described the particular difficulties of maintaining an analytic setting which are inherent to child analysis. He referred to the significance of the psychic reality of the analyst, which must include the capacity to preserve a mental space where an integrated view of the sense of the setting and of the analysis is kept in order to allow the analyst to resonate with the child and infant like states being evoked in the transference and countertransference interaction.

The first panellist, Tessa Baradon, presented clinical material of the analysis of a 6-year-old-boy, Michael, who had been referred by his school. He was unable to cope with the academic work and was friendless. The eldest of two brothers, Michael came from a closely knit and intact family. Problems started at the age of 2, when Michael suffered a three-week separation from his mother, following his brother's birth.

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