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O'Loughlin, M. Merchant, A. (2012). Working Obliquely with Children. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 11(2):149-159.

(2012). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 11(2):149-159

Working Obliquely with Children

Michael O'Loughlin and Almas Merchant

Two case vignettes are presented to illustrate an approach to working with children that, following Mannoni (1999), the authors term “oblique.” Key attributes of this approach, loosely patterned on Lacanian technique, are then explored. Among these are the need to create an anxiety-free space in which the demand of the child can emerge, use of the analyst's unconscious as receptor for the child patient's unconscious, adoption of a limp posture by the analyst to allow the reanimated unconscious of the child to act upon the analyst, and a recognition of the value of techniques such as squiggle and progressive mirror drawing in offering the kind of blank canvas that provides a receptive space in which the child may inscribe her or his unconscious. The paper concludes with the claim that approaches such as this offer a riposte to societies in which the increased academic and social expectations placed on children erases the possibility of desire and the power of the question.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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