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Herzog, J.M. (2005). Los Degradados: Out, down, dead: Transmitted and inflicted trauma as encountered in the analysis of a 6-year-old girl. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(2):291-310.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(2):291-310

Los Degradados: Out, down, dead: Transmitted and inflicted trauma as encountered in the analysis of a 6-year-old girl Language Translation

James M. Herzog

The author presents the analysis of a precocious traumatized little girl, which reveals the ways in which historical trauma is transmitted and intrafamilial trauma is both disguised and represented. The play as it evolves is seen to simultaneously communicate what the child struggles with and to resolutely try to hide what has actually happened. Analyst and child together participate in play which utilizes displacement, enactment and interactive enactment, the latter play mode being the very hallmark of profound traumatic experience. Carlotta, the child, helps the analyst to follow her quest for meaning making even as the interaction between them adheres to and departs from the deepening pentimenti of traumatic experience, which needs to be unraveled and reconstructed in order that her own developmental progression can be rejoined. The analysis facilitates Carlotta's capacity to play in a more unfettered fashion and to assist her family's recovery as well.

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