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Klaniczay, S. (1998). A Runaway and the Failure of Boundaries. J. Child Psychother., 24(1):167-179.

(1998). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 24(1):167-179

A Runaway and the Failure of Boundaries

Sara Klaniczay

This paper is about the therapy of a runaway boy in early adolescence. A series of such incidents, which spanned a year of his life, was closely connected with his sexual maturation and oedipal situation. It was of great importance to the author that four of those incidents happened during the therapy, thus giving the opportunity to observe in statu nascendi, so to speak.

A further interesting feature of this case was that the patient committed a crime — codified as ‘Unauthorized Crossing of the Frontier’ — and this represented his incestuous desires. Realizing the underlying phantasy helped the author to form her interpretation, which became a turning point in the therapy. The activity driving the boy into running away diminished, and the compulsive whirlpool-like symptoms ceased.

Searching for psychological ‘models’ was considered by Imre Hermann as very important in our therapeutic work and also in creativity-research.

The analysis of ‘model’ connections teaches us that the special shape of individual problems is formed both by the conflicts of instincts and by socio-psychological factors embedded in wide-ranging social movements.

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