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Abelin-Sas, G. Debray, R. (1998). Discussion. J. Clin. Psychoanal., 7(4):592-611.

(1998). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 7(4):592-611

Discussion Related Papers

Graciela Abelin-Sas, M.D. and Rosine Debray

Dr. Abelin-Sas. Professor Debray teaches clinical psychology at the University of the Sorbonne, and also maintains a private practice in the psychotherapy and psychoanalysis of adults as well as children and adolescents. For the past twelve years she has conducted innovative research in the treatment of triads, that is, parents and young infants. Part of this work has been carried out at the Institute Psychosomatique in Paris. We will be discussing this work here, particularly the case of Remi.

Dr. Debray. I look forward to an interesting discussion, so I'll limit my introductory comments to a few points. The first thing perhaps I can say is that the aim of this kind of consultation and treatment is not to make the child's symptoms disappear. The aim is to help the parents to engage in something like a working through process in a psychoanalytically logical way. Even at the first meeting, the first consultation, it is extremely important to make clear to the parents that such a thing can be possible. Children have a magic about them, in that they reactivate the conflicts of the parents, even conflicts that the parents think may have been resolved already. But these conflicts are reactivated and sometimes very strongly. And these can lead to symptoms in the child of all sorts, somatic symptoms as well as eating or sleeping disturbances. This is because the protective shield of the mother is overwhelmed by too many excitations and so too many excitations are overwhelming the child, overwhelming the entire family triad, and the pathway of discharge for these excitations lies through the symptoms of the child.

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