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Green, V. Hurley, A. (2009). Editorial. J. Child Psychother., 35(3):227-228.

(2009). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 35(3):227-228



Viviane Green and Anne Hurley

This volume of the JCP has two mini-themes: work with autistic children and research findings linked to clinical practice. ‘The Sound-Hand’ by Francesco Bisagni, is a highly original contribution to understanding the ‘mindscape’ of an autistic boy through therapeutic communication initially with ‘sounds’ and the child's drawing of a hand. The sound-hand, the author suggests, offers a way of thinking about how a mind emerges. The article integrates understanding based on Jung, Bion, neuroscience and chaos theory to give an account of the growth of subjectivity and the emergent mind. Refreshingly, the author explores how he allows himself to use his countertransference to understand his patient without recourse to therapeutic cliches, ‘the language of despair’.

Careful attention to countertranserference is also a feature of the article by Vera Regina Fonseca. In the ‘The autistic dialogic style: a case of Asperger's syndrome’, she describes intensive work with Arthur, a 12-year-old boy who has the tendency to induce drowsiness in the analyst, a phenomenon that many, perhaps, will recognise. Building on her earlier work, Fonseca considers the restriction of dialogic style, and the reduction of the analytic encounter to rigid question-and-answer sessions by her patient in an effort to avoid an experience of ‘otherness’. This is gradually overcome as life, liveliness and symbolic activity are kindled.

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